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Apple announces Swift Playgrounds for iPad, coming this fall

Closing off today’s WWDC keynote, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Swift Playgrounds, a new app that Apple is releasing this fall that aims to teach kids — and other users new to programming — how to code in Apple’s new Swift development language. Swift Playgrounds takes users through some very simple interactive coding tutorials before moving on to more advanced topics, in a fun and playful graphical interface, with projects that involve games and fun tasks to keep kids engaged and learning to code. Users will be able to proceed through the tutorials step-by-step, or jump to any tutorial directly from a table of contents, and more advanced freeform coding is also available within the app. Swift Playgrounds will be available this fall as a free download from the App Store when iOS 10 ships.

Apple re-releases iOS 9.3.2 update for 9.7” iPad Pro

Apple has re-released the iOS 9.3.2 update for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, after pulling the update last month due to “bricking” issues with that particular model. While other iOS devices were unaffected, many users of Apple’s newest iPad Pro model found themselves faced with “Error 56” messages after applying the update, rendering their devices unusable, and needing to be replaced by Apple. The new version of iOS 9.3.2, which doesn’t bear any obvious numbering to differentiate it from the last one, addresses these earlier issues and users should now be able to safely update to the latest iOS version through the normal software update process.

Apple sued by Caltech over Wi-Fi patents

The California Institute of Technology has sued Broadcom and Apple over use of the school’s encoding and decoding patents in Broadcom’s Wi-Fi chips, Patently Apple reports. Apple has used Broadcom’s technology since 2012 in most of its devices, including the iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, Apple Watch and others.

iOS Spotlight search now offers relevant results for some emoji

The Spotlight search on iOS devices now provides results for certain emoji. Searching with the hamburger emoji, for example, provides a list of nearby burger joints in Maps. Searching using the dress or pants emoji returns Maps results for clothing stores, while a dress shirt with a tie emoji curiously returns results for clothing retailer apps before the Maps listings. Searching the stack of American cash emoji returns results for nearby banks, but searching the stack of yen or Euros only provides web results.

Apple releases first developer betas for iOS 9.3.3, tvOS 9.2.2

Apple has released the first betas for iOS 9.3.3 and tvOS 9.2.2 to developers today. Both betas are likely to be minor updates; we’ll update if there are any major findings. Apple just released iOS 9.3.2 and tvOS 9.2.1 to the public one week ago.

Apple pulls iOS 9.3.2 update for 9.7” iPad Pro due to ‘bricking’ issues

Apple has pulled the iOS 9.3.2 update for the 9.7” iPad Pro and is working on a fix, according to a tweet from Rene Ritchie of iMore. A report earlier today at MacRumors noted that they have received a number of reports that the update has been causing an “Error 56” message on some 9.7” iPad Pro devices, although not all iPad Pro users are impacted by the problem and the larger 12.9” iPad Pro also appears to be unaffected. Users who have encountered the problem have found their devices rendered unusable. Users are prompted to plug their devices into iTunes to restore, however, an iTunes restore does not fix the problem, leaving the affected iPad Pro devices bricked. MacRumors notes that they have heard several reports that Apple is replacing iPad Pro devices that have been bricked by the update as no other fix is available for the problem. Users who have not updated to iOS 9.3.2 should see iOS 9.3.1 as the latest version available; other iOS devices appear to be unaffected and the update remains available for all other models.

Apple eyeing partnerships with Indian phone companies

Tim Cook is meeting with Indian phone companies with hopes of using the country’s expanding 4G network to make Apple devices more appealing, The Economic Times reports. A senior executive at Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile phone operator, said his company is in talks with Apple to create a strategic partnership that may end up including special offers on devices, deals to sell products through retail stores, and new training of company personnel. A senior Reliance executive said bundling of Apple products was also an option, supporting claims that Apple’s leadership sees potential for India’s increased 4G coverage to boost sales of iPads and Apple TVs in addition to iPhones.

Apple releases iOS 9.3.2, watchOS 2.2.1, tvOS 9.2.1, iTunes 12.4

Apple has released a whole slew of updates this afternoon, as iOS 9.3.2, watchOS 2.2.1, tvOS 9.2.1, and iTunes 12.4 have all been launched to the general public. The updates are mostly made of bug fixes and minor enhancements, but as alluded to last week, a few design and navigation tweaks have been made to iTunes. Also, the iOS update fixes a Bluetooth audio quality issue with the iPhone SE. The updates are currently available. We’ll add to this piece this afternoon if there are any other major findings.

Apple partners with SAP for mobile enterprise solutions

Apple has announced a partnership with enterprise application software leader SAP to build a new software development framework that would allow SAP developers to build native iOS applications that integrate with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, providing organizations with efficient mobile access to SAP enterprise data within their organizations. The two companies will deliver a new SAP HANA Cloud Platform SDK that will be available exclusively for iOS, which will empower SAP’s 2.5-million member global developer community to build mobile enterprise apps for SAP’s open platform. The platform will have a new design language — SAP Fiori for iOS — that will combine the SAP Fiori user experience with the consumer-grade iOS experience, and a new SAP Academy for iOS will offer tools and training for SAP developers. The new SDK, design language and academy are expected to begin rolling out later this year.

iPhone tops Time’s list of most influential gadgets

The iPhone topped inventions like the TV, VCR and personal computer to take the number one spot on Time’s most influential gadgets list. The writeup gives the device credit for putting “a truly powerful computer in the pockets of millions” and ushering in a new era of touchscreen phones. Later additions to the phone’s software and mobile store created the app industry as we know it, “forever changing how we communicate, play games, shop, work, and complete many everyday tasks.”

Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, tvOS 9.2.1

Apple has released the fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2 and tvOS 9.2.1. As with prior betas, the sparse release notes and minor version numbers suggest that the betas are primarily focused on bug fixes and performance improvements and do not likely include any new user-facing features. The much smaller number of “Known Issues” in the release notes as compared to prior betas suggest that both versions may be nearing final release.

The new betas are available to registered developers from Apple’s Developer Site; those developers who installed the necessary beta configuration profiles for the prior beta cycle should also automatically see the new betas appear as an over-the-air update.

Nintendo bringing Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing to iOS

A tweet from Nintendo America is teasing the release of more Nintendo games for the iOS platform, specifically mentioning Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing — versions of two existing Nintendo franchises.

A year ago, Nintendo announced that it would be moving into the mobile space, promising the release of one title this year — the company’s Miitomo social app — followed by four more games by March 2017. Mobile versions of Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing presumably account for two of these promised four apps, but details are scarce beyond the company’s tweet; it’s unclear whether these will be new mobile games that are loosely related to their respective franchises or full-fledged ports of the Nintendo Wii and DS counterparts.

Apple releases second developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, watchOS 2.2.1

Apple has released the second developer betas for iOS 9.3.2 and watchOS 2.2.1. As with the prior beta, the sparse release notes and minor version numbers suggest that the betas are primarily focused on bug fixes and performance improvements and do not likely include any new user-facing features. The new betas are available to registered developers from Apple’s Developer Site; those developers who installed the necessary beta configuration profiles for the prior beta cycle should also automatically see the new betas appear as an over-the-air update.

India’s high court rules Apple can’t use ‘Split View’ name

The Delhi High Court has directed Apple to stop using ‘Split View’ to describe its multitasking feature that allows users to run two apps side by side in iOS 9, The Economic Times reports. Vyooh, a vendor for Microsoft, developed a similar software in 2006 under the name Splitsview to allow users to work within multiple windows. The company filed an objection to Apple’s use of a similar name for a similar product, leading the court to rule that Apple cannot use the term ‘Split View’ on any of its products or services in India. Apple declined to comment, but is appealing the ruling.

Apple releases new iOS, watchOS, tvOS betas

Apple has released a new round of developer betas for iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The release notes for the new versions are relatively sparse, and the very minor version numbers — 9.3.2, 2.2.1, and 9.2.1, respectively — would suggest that these are primarily maintenance releases and do not likely include any new features worth noting. The new betas are available to registered developers from Apple’s Developer Site; those developers who installed the necessary beta configuration profiles for the prior beta cycle should also automatically see the new betas appear as an over-the-air update.

iFixit posts teardown of 9.7-inch iPad Pro

iFixit’s teardown of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro found, unsurprisingly, that the smaller tablet packed all the features previously found in the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro in a smaller package, but noted a few minor internal differences. The device’s smaller size meant squeezing the four stereo speakers back along the margins rather than giving them the huge enclosures that dominated the larger model’s interior, and the display cable is configured differently as well, now attaching at the bottom right corner.

Apple releases iOS 9.3.1

Following reports earlier this week of a hyperlink bug which was causing freezes and crashes on some iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units, Apple has released iOS 9.3.1, a minor update that promises to fix the issue. As usual, the update is available now through Settings > General > Software Update, or can be installed using a Mac or PC via iTunes.

Unboxing the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro

Apple’s newest 9.7-inch iPad Pro is here and we’ve posted a quick first look at Apple’s new standard-sized Pro tablet with an unboxing and comparison gallery. The images highlight what’s in the box along with differences between the new device and its brethren, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4. We’ve noticed Apple is now using what looks to be a thinner version of the font for the word “iPad” on the back of the new Pro. Look for our full iPad Pro review next week once we’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.

MLB coaches get iPad Pro devices with custom software

Apple is providing coaches with 12.9-inch iPad Pro devices running custom software through a new multi-year deal with Major League Baseball, The Wall Street Journal reports. The tablets will run a custom iOS app called Dugout, developed by the MLB’s Advanced Media division. The app will be loaded with player statistics, stat breakdowns, interactive data and game footage pertinent to the team’s matchup each day, with future iterations expected to support real-time data updates. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he hopes the iPads will help speed up the pace of games and make baseball more attractive to a younger generation drawn to fast-action sports. [via Apple Insider]

Apple releases version of iOS 9.3 for older devices affected by Activation Lock issue

Apple has released a new version of iOS 9.3 with build number of 13E237, designed specifically for older iOS devices. The first finished public release of iOS 9.3 had an issue during the activation process. Users of such devices — including the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and earlier devices — who were unable to recall their Apple ID info could find their devices rendered inaccessible. This new build is meant to provide a fix for that problem. We’re also awaiting an iOS update for everyone that will provide a fix for the current hyperlink bug seen in Safari and elsewhere after updating to iOS 9.3, but it appears like we’ll have to wait a little longer on that front.

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