Apple has updated its standalone Podcasts app for iOS adding support for iOS 6 and synchronization of podcasts subscriptions between devices via iCloud. Users can now also choose to automatically download new episodes only when on Wi-Fi and play episodes in both forward and reverse chronological order. A new pull-to-refresh gesture has also been added to check for new episodes on iOS 6 devices. Podcasts 1.1 is a universal app requiring iOS 5.1 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Twitter has released an update to its official iOS application with a completely redesigned user interface for iPad users. Departing from the prior unique sliding panels interface, the new iPad version now uses a full-screen UI adapted from the iPhone and iPod touch, with the standard navigation buttons on the left side and a single timeline view. The new layout makes use of the additional iPad screen space by providing header photos in user profiles and photo streams on profiles and events, however it does not expand when using the iPad in landscape orientation, leaving empty space to the left and right of the timeline view. The iPhone and iPod touch user interface remains the same in this update other than minor improvements, polish and fixes. Twitter 5.0 is a universal app requiring iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has released its Gold Master seed of iOS 6 to registered developers. Listed as build 10A403, the GM build is normally the last to be seeded prior to the software’s official launch, expected on September 19, and as such can be used to submit iOS 6 applications to the App Store for review. It is unclear whether the iOS 6 GM seed will be made available as an over-the-air software update, as has been the case with past iOS 5 and iOS 6 beta releases, however Registered Developers can download the iOS 6 GM seed and the accompanying SDK from the iOS Dev Center now.
During today’s iPhone 5 event Apple announced the official release dates for iOS 6, the next major version of the company’s operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Originally announced at WWDC in June, iOS 6 is expected to add over 200 new user features. During the event, Senior iOS VP Scott Forstall took the stage to demonstrate several of the major new features in iOS 6 running on the new iPhone 5, including the new Apple Maps application with turn-by-turn navigation, a database of 100 million points of interest and integration with Yelp for photos and reviews.
Forstall also demonstrated the new 3D Flyover feature in iOS 6 Maps, new Safari features such as full-screen view and iCloud tabs, VIP support in the new Mail app, the new Passbook digital coupon and ticket app and Shared Photos Streams. Forstall also highlighted new Siri features such as the ability to request sports results, get movie recommendations, find restaurants and make reservations via OpenTable and post Facebook updates by voice. iOS 6 is compatible with the iPhone 3GS and later, second- and third-generation iPod and fourth-generation iPod touch and will be available for download via iTunes and OTA update on September 19th.
A set of comparison photos on Flickr illustrates the size differences between the iPad, iPad mini, new iPhone, and iPhone 4S. In one photo, the iPhone 4S rests inside a pre-production case for the new iPhone, which is taller, but not wider, matching the rumored 4” screen.
These items are compared to a pre-production case for the impending iPad mini — believed to have a 7.85” screen — which is seen fitting easily within the footprint of an existing iPad case. The designs are based on leaks, and as always, subject to change when the actual devices are unveiled over the coming weeks. [via MacRumors]
Import bans on the new iPhone and iPad could be possible, as Apple is unlikely to invalidate two allegedly infringed HTC patents for data transmission in wireless devices, Bloomberg reported. “I have to be pretty darn certain a U.S. patent is invalid,” U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender said during a trial on the patents, implying an uphill battle for Apple. HTC maintains that the two patents in question are critical to LTE technology; should the company win, it could seek bans on the iPhone and iPad, and persuade Apple to settle its own patent infringement claims against HTC.
American Airlines, United, Virgin, and Delta have all confirmed they’re either ready or working to support Apple’s new Passbook application, debuting with iOS 6 this month. Passbook stores boarding passes, tickets, loyalty cards and other forms of digital information, then uses the iPhone’s location services feature to call up the appropriate document on the Lock Screen when in the correct location. At the initial iOS 6 presentation, Apple suggested that Passbook would be backed by companies such as United, Amtrak, Starbucks, and Fandango. [via Electronista]
Adobe has released an update to Adobe Photoshop Touch for the iPad adding support for the Retina Display in the third-generation iPad along with the ability to work with higher resolution images. In version 1.3 users can now edit images of up to 12 megapixels in size, an increase from the application’s original 1600x1600 (2.5MP) limitations. The new version also adds new Shred and Colorize effects, support for Photo Stream and improvements to animation and scrolling, toggling views and precision editing. Russian and Brazilian Portuguese localization has also been added. Adobe Photoshop Touch requires an iPad 2 or third-generation iPad running iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $10.
Ten One Design has renamed its “Blue Tiger” stylus as Pogo Connect ($80), and promised that the accessory is nearly ready for release. Billed as “the world’s first pressure-sensitive Bluetooth 4.0 stylus for new iPad,” the Pogo Connect is said by the company to be compatible with the third-generation iPad, iPhone 4S, plus “the new iPhone, and iPad mini.” Interestingly, users of the first two iPad generations can also use the stylus through the free Pogo Bridge app, if they have access to an iPhone 4S or the new iPhone. The Pogo Connect features a new patent pending technology dubbed the “Crescendo Sensor,” which can work from all angles, with zero grams of activation force. The stylus requires no calibration, provides hundreds of levels of pressure and has no moving parts, arriving as a competitor to Adonit’s Jot Touch.
Pogo Connect promises extra-long battery life by using Bluetooth Smart technology with a AAA battery, and it’s said to be compatible with certain existing apps, including Procreate. Another novel touch: the stylus can transmit a signal that allows users to track down its location. Ten One Design has announced that Pogo Connect will be available for pre-order on Oct. 1.
- September 4, 2012
Images purporting to show the design of the upcoming iPad mini have been posted on Apple.pro. The photos depict what appears to be a realistic mockup of the smaller iPad’s front—complete with a 7.85” screen surrounded by a bezel that’s thinner on the left and right than the top and bottom — as well as the unit’s back, thin sides, and large speaker grilles on the bottom alongside the smaller Dock Connector. A rear-facing camera and cellular antenna bar are included on this unit, as well as separated volume buttons below the orientation/silent side switch.
While Apple.pro’s images are consistent with dimensional drawings, case leaks, and other bits of information that have been circulating for some time, it’s worth noting that a supposed iPad mini internal cable part leak suggested that the smaller tablet might have a bottom-mounted headphone port—the only piece of evidence thus far casting doubt on the widely expected design.
Overnight, Apple unveiled some major changes to the iOS 6 beta version of the App Store, and the tweaks seem to be heavily inspired by Chomp. Chomp, a search and app discovery startup, was acquired by Apple earlier this year.
The new Chomp-inspired App Store search features a considerably larger tile-based display of results, making comparatively poor use of both small and large iOS device screens, a point that has already inspired complaints from some App Store developers. Notably, the redesigned App Store features remain in beta form and subject to considerable change before iOS 6 is released next month. In other updates to the App Store, Genius and Purchased sections have been added, and the iTunes Store has been updated to again include a Podcast search function. [via MacRumors]
- August 31, 2012
Two new iPad device models discovered in a developer’s app logs may represent the “iPad mini,” blogged Instapaper creator Marco Arment. The entries were marked as the never-before-seen “iPad2,5” and “iPad2,6,” which Arment speculates are likely Wi-Fi and cellular versions of the new iPad, most resembling an iPad 2, with an A5 processor and a 1024x768 display. Arment notes that he’s “never had a device show up there that didn’t end up being a real, about-to-be-released Apple device.”
Garmin has announced two coming updates for its StreetPilot Onboard and Navigon series of iOS navigation apps that will add major new features including public transportation routing and improvements to pedestrian navigation. The new transit feature, known as Urban Guidance will be available as an optional $5 in-app purchase and will allow users to consider public transportation options such as trains, trams, busses and water taxis when calculating pedestrian routes. Users will be provided with walking directions to the most appropriate transit stop and can look up detailed information on which line to take and where to get off. The real colours of transportation lines will also be reflected within the app to help users correlated the in-app directions with the appropriate transit stops.
The updates will also include Last Mile Navigation, a new feature designed to allow users to more effectively continue their journey by foot after parking their vehicle. Users will be advised about parking locations near their destination where users can park their car, saving their location in the app, and then automatically switch into pedestrian mode for walking directions to their final destination. The app will also provide directions back to the car’s saved location for the return journey. In addition, Garmin has also announced that the Google Street View feature introduced to the Navigon app earlier this year will be introduced to its StreetPilot Onboard app for the iPhone, alone with Navigon’s optional Panorama View 3D terrain view. The new StreetPilot Onboard and Navigon app versions are expected to be available sometime this fall as free updates for existing users.
XtremeMac has introduced two new speakers, the Soma Frame and Tango Air. Soma Frame ($300) wraps around the iPad, resembling Apple’s classic iMac G4 computer, only in black. It includes a 2.1 audio system based upon two pieces: a portable speaker frame with its own rechargeable battery, plus a dock that acts as a subwoofer. Impressively, the frame can automatically switch left and right speaker channels depending on the iPad’s orientation, and recharges via a Mini-USB connection. Soma Frame fits all iPad models, and features up to six hours of playback time.
The Tango Air speaker ($300) is a handsome black and silver tower featuring AirPlay technology, capable of being positioned horizontally or vertically. It includes two tweeters, two full range drivers, one subwoofer and one passive radiator. The speaker also features a rear USB slot for device charging, and an auxiliary line-in. Neither product has a release date yet.
According to The Telegraph, Apple plans on improving its AirPlay technology so that an iPhone, iPod or iPad can connect directly to speakers without use of a Wi-Fi network. AirPlay currently enables iOS devices to wirelessly perform audio, photos, video, and sometimes screen sharing through AirPlay-equipped accessories on the same Wi-Fi network. The report suggests the enhanced feature may solely be for music streaming, rather than for all forms of media, and has been developed under the working title “AirPlay Direct.” It also notes that the new feature could be announced alongside the next iPhone, though no specific products have apparently been signed off on yet. Further, it’s unclear as to whether AirPlay Direct will be compatible with older AirPlay accessories and Apple devices, or possibly require new hardware features such as dual-band Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4/Smart.
Users frustrated with the Federal Aviation Administration’s long-standing restrictions on in-flight access to iPods, iPhones, and iPads can now easily petition the government and airlines to change the regulations, thanks to a call for comments. The FAA has requested comments on policies regarding the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) during flight. As the FAA notes about recent PEDs, “Some devices do not transmit or receive any signals but generate low-power, radio frequency emissions,” which might interfere with aircraft navigation and communication systems. However, the FAA plans to assess whether widespread use of PEDs will actually cause any safety issues.
Under current regulations, all PEDs are actually prohibited from use during flight, except for voice recorders, hearing aids, pacemakers and electric shavers. However, operators are permitted to allow the use of PEDs that do not cause interference with navigation or communication systems on the aircraft.
The FAA seeks comments from passengers, in addition to aircraft operators, pilots, PED manufacturers, and PED designers. To register your views or provide information, email your comments to PEDcomment@faa.gov or send them online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal.
A pair of posts by Apple-centric bloggers John Gruber and Jim Dalrymple suggest that Apple may be planning to introduce the next-generation iPhone and a smaller iPad at separate events in September and October. In a post, Gruber remarked that Apple wouldn’t likely want reviews of the new devices to appear at the same time, thus competing against one other for media attention. “I’m thinking it makes more sense for Apple to hold two events. First, an iPhone event, focused solely on the new iPhone and iOS 6. Then, the iPhone ships nine days later, and there’s another wave of iPhone-focused attention as the reviews come out,” he writes. “Then, in the first or second week of October, Apple holds its traditional “music event”, exactly along the lines of the events at which they’ve been debuting new iPods for the last decade.” He adds that the small iPad, which he’s calling the “iPad Air,” could debut alongside new or updated iPods at the latter event.
In linking to Gruber’s article, Dalrymple cryptically calls Gruber a “smart fellow,” and quotes only the portion of Gruber’s piece that appears above. While such speculation would typically be passed over as exactly that, Gruber and Dalrymple are now being provided with advance information by Apple, sometimes as controlled leaks to adjust expectations ahead of anticipated product announcements. Claims of a single event for the new iPhone and smaller iPad were previously widely circulated, though iLounge stated in a July report that Apple may be planning two separate events for the next-generation iPhone and smaller iPad.
A South Korean court has ruled that Apple and Samsung both infringed on each other’s patents, the New York Times reports. As a result of the rulings, the Seoul Central District Court ordered Apple to stop selling the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, original iPad, and iPad 2 in South Korea, claiming that they infringed two of Samsung’s patents. Likewise, the court banned sales of the Galaxy S2 and other products for infringing upon one of Apple’s patents. Notably, the two companies’ most recent products, including the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S3 smartphones, were unaffected by the ruling. In addition to the sales bans, Samsung must pay Apple about $22,000, while Apple must pay Samsung roughly $35,000.
Facebook has released a major update to its iOS app focused on improving performance. In Facebook 5.0 major portions of the app have been rewritten in iOS native Objective-C code, rather than relying on the HTML5 code used for the browser-based Facebook mobile site. The result is an app that now performs significantly faster when loading and scrolling through news feeds and timelines. Several smaller user interface improvements have also been made in the new version, including the integration of Facebook Messenger features, the ability to open and close photos more quickly using upward and downward swipe gestures and a banner notification for new stories and comments, along with a few other minor cosmetic changes. Facebook 5.0 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple is seeking additional table space for iPad displays in the shops of Apple Premium Resellers in Europe, according to a new report. Citing multiple resellers, MacRumors reports that Apple has requested that the shops set aside additional table space for iPad displays over the next few weeks. One source reportedly cited September 12—the same day Apple is expected to hold its next media event—as the Apple-imposed deadline for the changes to be made, while another source said their store is already in the process of tripling the amount of display space dedicated to the iPad. The extra space is coming primarily at the expense of Mac Pro and Mac mini computers, which are reportedly being removed from display entirely, while iPod and headphone displays are also being trimmed back. While the exact reason for the change isn’t clear, the September 12 date suggests that the move has something to do with Apple’s media event, at which it is expected to introduce the next-generation iPhone and could also unveil the long-rumored “iPad mini”.