Apple CEO Tim Cook officially introduced iOS 8, the company’s newest operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, at WWDC today. “iOS 8 is a giant release,” Cook said.
After the introduction, Apple’s Craig Federighi took the stage to cover iOS 8. New interactive notifications in iOS 8 let users respond to notifications without leaving current apps. Double tapping the Home button can now allow users to quickly access recently used contacts, in addition to apps. Spotlight now shows results in the App Store, news, iTunes, movies and more.
QuickType now supports predictive typing suggestions when typing. The feature is context-sensitive and personalized, with promises of privacy and increased language support. Federighi also showed the continuity features linking iOS to Mac, as seen in the Mac presentation.
Tweaks to messages in iOS 8 allow users to name threads, add and remove people from a thread, use Do Not Disturb to mute notifications in a threat, or choose when to leave a thread. Locations can also be shared, and an enhanced view lets users show attachments shared within a thread. A tap-to-talk feature lets users insert voice and video messages within a thread.
The new Device Enrollment Program will automatically configure iOS devices for enterprise users straight out of the box. Federighi then introduced HealthKit.
Family Sharing in iOS 8 allows family members to auto-share photos, calendars, reminders, and more. It allows up to six family members who share the same credit card to access all of the family’s purchases. A child wishing to make an app purchase will send a request prompt to their parents’ iOS devices.
Within Photos, iCloud will now allow users to search for any photos taken on any device. Photo search lets users search for specific photos using location, time, and other options. Smart Editing controls now lets users have immediate photo editing options. After 5GB of free storage, iCloud storage will now be offered at $1 a month for 20GB, and $4 a month for 200GB.
Siri now lets users access the feature by voice. It will now support Shazam, iTunes purchases, streaming voice recognition and 22 new languages. Maps have also been improved, with China gaining vector-based maps.
App Store search has been improved. Developers can now show app previews, and can offer app bundles — a number of apps at a discounted price. Free beta testing is now available through TestFlight. All the features will be available in the fall, Cook said.
In iOS 8, third-party apps can interact with each other. Third-party apps can also have widgets which will be accessible from Notification Center. Third-party keyboards can now be used across iOS 8 as a new extension. Touch ID is also being opened up to developers.
HomeKit was also introduced — a common network protocol for home automation.
Also introduced was Metal, a new graphics system that allows for advanced rendering and improved performance, and SceneKit a 3D renderer for more casual games. SpriteKit also received an update. Apple also introduced a new programming language, Swift.
iOS 8 will be available in the fall, and it’s available in beta as of today.
The 2014 keynote event at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) begins today at 1PM Eastern / 10AM Pacific Time, and a live video stream of the event will be available at this link and via the Apple Events channel on Apple TVs. A number of announcements are expected today for iOS 8, notably including the health-tracking feature Healthbook, an iOS-centric home automation feature and certification program, as well as further developments of the location-based iBeacons notification service. iOS 8 is anticipated to look largely like iOS 7, but feature a number of under-the-hood performance improvements and feature boosts.
Additionally, the new version of OS X for Macs will be shown, featuring a significant visual redesign akin to iOS 7’s. Well-sourced rumors suggest that Apple will also show new hardware, potentially including new Mac 4K displays, while previously-rumored “in development” products such as a 12” iPad could make appearances as well. Here’s what was actually announced, each with its own full article.
No new hardware was introduced during the WWDC 2014 keynote. iLounge’s editors have released a multi-editorial on WWDC 2014’s iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, and more for an opinionated look at today’s announcements.
An photo of the alleged 4.7” iPhone 6 rear shell has been posted on Australian site MacFixIt. The design seems to match rumors and what we’ve seen before, including the lack of a dual camera flash. We believe this is likely to be a legitimate part, for a number of reasons, including the proper camera and flash holes.
Also, the piece appears to have color consistent integration of the D-shaped end pieces, with a difference in texture — it’s possible that antenna compartments are built right into a unibody case. Those end parts may be made of LiquidMetal, though we can’t say for sure. We believe this is a gold iPhone under the green plastic wrapper.
iLounge has received a new case from Minisuit, designed to fit the still-unannounced iPhone 6. Frost is a TPU case with transparent edges and a cloudy back.
While it’s significantly taller and wider than the iPhone 5/5s, it notably matches the thickness of the fifth-generation iPod touch. While it’s unclear whether the next-generation iPhone will indeed fit properly inside, it matches the most prevalent rumors, including enough room for a device with a 4.7” display, plus a Sleep/Wake button that’s been moved to the handset’s right side. More photos can be seen by clicking the headline above.
German carrier Deutsche Telekom has informed its call center representatives to let customers know the iPhone 6 will launch September 19, according to apfelpage.de. iPhone launches traditionally occur on Fridays — September 19 does fall on a Friday this year, and September 20 was when Apple introduced the iPhone last year. Deutsche Telekom is apparently giving people a concrete date in order to keep people from leaving the carrier. The carrier may simply be estimating the date based on past launches, as it seems unlikely that Apple would have already given Deutsche Telekom a firm release date. [via Apple Insider]
A number of Australian Apple device owners have discovered that their devices have been hacked, and are being held hostage for ransom, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. iPad, iPhone, and Mac owners have reported seeing messages stating their device was hacked, and would be unlocked if they sent money to a PayPal account. In some known cases, the message “Device hacked by Oleg Pliss” has prompted users to send $50 or $100 to a PayPal account. Dozens of users have reported seeing similar messages.
According to the report, users with a passcode were able to unlock their devices after receiving the message, but those without a passcode on their devices were unable to do so. A PayPal spokesman said no PayPal account was linked to the email address given, also noting that any money sent by hacked users would be refunded. Users have received little help from carriers, and have been told to contact Apple, which has yet to comment. The hacker appears to be exploiting an insecurity within Find My iPhone.
Update - May 28: Apple released a statement on the issue: “Apple takes security very seriously and iCloud was not compromised during this incident. Impacted users should change their Apple ID password as soon as possible and avoid using the same user name and password for multiple services. Any users who need additional help can contact AppleCare or visit their local Apple Retail Store.” [via ZDNet]
Apple has launched the 8GB iPhone 5c in India, The Times of India reports. It was reported a few weeks ago the phone would launch soon, with a trade-in program designed to reduce costs, but the new report only mentions a “cash discount.” The phone is retailing for 37,500 rupees ($640) with a cash discount of 4,000 rupees ($68) for a total cost of 33,500 rupees ($572). For a limited time, Apple is also giving away a case with the phone, valued at 2,000 rupees ($34).
Following AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile has announced the launch of voice-over-LTE on its network, starting in the Seattle area. T-Mobile has already been offering HD Voice, though not on a VoLTE network. The carrier says users of certain devices can download a software update to access VoLTE, though the iPhone is not included in the brief list. It’s noted that T-Mobile will be adding cities and devices while increasing the size of the network.
Apple has officially acknowledged its iMessage issue that causes users who switch from an iPhone to stop receiving texts. “We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update,” Apple told Re/code in a statement. The report notes that a recent server glitch has only exacerbated the issue, making it harder for Apple support staff to fix iMessage using standard protocol.
To avoid the problem, Apple says users switching from an iPhone to a non-Apple phone can switch off iMessage on their iPhone, and uncheck the phone number from all other Apple devices using iMessage before making the switch — though this doesn’t do much good to those who have already made the transition. A recent report noted Apple is being sued over the issue.
Two hackers are claiming to have found a way to compromise iCloud by bypassing Activation Lock on stolen iPhones, De Telegraaf reports. The hackers — based in the Netherlands and Morocco, respectively — reportedly worked on the hack for five months. A vulnerability in Apple’s software apparently allows another computer to fool an iPhone into thinking it’s a genuine Apple server, allowing third-parties to gain Apple ID credentials and reverse Apple’s Activation Lock. The two hackers also claim they contacted Apple about the issue back in March, but the company never responded. They have allegedly unlocked 30,000 iPhones by exploiting the vulnerability. [via MacRumors]
Verizon has announced that it will start to roll out voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) on its network this year, claiming that the service will be available to customers “in the next few months.” The network’s VoLTE service will offer HD Voice, and the company says it will “have a robust line-up of VoLTE-enabled smartphones available when the service launches.” Software updates can enable VoLTE on handsets; iOS 8 has been rumored to include support for the feature. It’s also noted that Verizon’s VoLTE service will offer video calling options, which might benefit FaceTime users in the future. AT&T recently announced its HD Voice would be debuting on its own VoLTE network May 23 in several cities, with more to follow.
Apple is being sued over an issue that causes iPhone text messages to get lost when sent to Android devices, Bloomberg reports. The lawsuit was filed by a former iPhone user who claims she switched to a different device and stopped receiving texts. A few days ago, a widely distributed blog post was written about the very same issue; that post claimed Apple was aware of the problem, but has no standard solution. Texts sent from an iMessage system to a user who used to have an iPhone but switched to an Android phone are — often, apparently — getting delayed in delivery or are completely failing to reach the intended recipient. The suit is seeking class-action status. [via Business Insider]
Today’s OS X update, 10.9.3, has re-added the ability to sync contacts and calendars with iOS devices via iTunes over a USB or Wi-Fi connection. Apple had quietly removed this feature in Mavericks, presumably as part of the deprecation of OS X SyncServices, directing users to iCloud instead for syncing. It has returned in this latest OS X update, possibly due to pressure from users concerned about the use of cloud-based services, although it is unclear if Apple has returned to the prior SyncServices model or simply developed a new synchronization architecture for this purpose.
Alongside updates to its iTunes software, Apple today released new versions of two of its iOS apps: Podcasts and iTunes Connect. Podcasts 2.1 sees a number of improvements to episode browsing, Siri integration, and more. A new Unplayed tab lists podcasts that haven’t yet been listened to, while the Feed tab shows episodes available to download or stream. Podcast episodes can now be set to be automatically deleted after being played.
Among other new features, Siri can now play specific podcasts and stations, CarPlay support has been added, and links can be shared using AirDrop.
iTunes Connect, a developer tool, has been completely redesigned for iOS. Additionally, it can now be used to access music, movies, and TV shows developers have made available in the iTunes Store, in addition to apps.
AT&T has announced that it’s introducing HD Voice to select markets starting May 23 on a voice-over-LTE network. HD Voice — which AT&T initially claimed would debut last year — will allow users to have enhanced audio in conversations, even while using 4G LTE data. Although Apple has previously noted that its iPhone 5 supports HD Voice, AT&T’s press release doesn’t mention the iPhone, only claiming HD Voice will work on the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, with more devices to be added later. It’s notable that T-Mobile already offers HD Voice support for the iPhone on its network, along with other carriers outside the U.S..
iOS can’t currently make calls over LTE networks, though a recent report claimed VoLTE could be added as a feature in the soon-to-be-announced iOS 8, or iOS 8.1. HD Voice from AT&T will debut in “select areas in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and will continue to expand on a market-by-market basis.”
A physical mockup of the 5.5” iPhone created using a 3D printer has been compared to the iPhone 5s in a post on Japanese site RocketNews24. The mockup is 157 mm x 78 mm and 6.71 mm thick. Though not a visually impressive physical representation of the rumored device, it is notable for size comparison purposes.
Although it’s thinner than the 5s, the mockup’s overall size dwarfs the current iPhone. The translated post notes the size is “cumbersome” to use with one hand. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple is testing an iPhone 6 with a 1704 x 960 resolution screen, 9to5Mac reports. The new resolution will be achieved by tripling the initial iPhone “base resolution” of 568 x 320. On a 4.7” screen, the pixel density would be 416 PPI; on a 5.5” screen, the density would be roughly 356 PPI. The aspect ratio will remain 16:9 — though not quite full 16:9 HD, which would be at 1920x1080 resolution, and would allow for 1:1 pixel sharing between an iPhone and an HDTV.
Though it’s expected that most UI elements of iOS will simply appear larger than before on the new screen, it’s possible the home screen and other functions could be redesigned in some way to better utilize the screen space. It should be easy for developers to make the transition to the new resolution due to a reduced reliance on raster graphics in iOS 7 — Apple is also working on a “multi-resolution” mode and developer toolset that will make it easier to scale applications to fit on multiple iOS devices with different resolutions.
An Apple tech support representative has reportedly verified that iMessages are still being sent to previously used Apple IDs in some cases, resulting in text messages never making it to their intended recipient. Former Lifehacker editor Adam Pash wrote a blog post about how he’s not receiving text messages from anyone with an iPhone, because he recently switched from iPhone to Android. The iPhone users sending the messages get a “delivered” receipt, but even after getting his phone number removed from his Apple ID, Pash hasn’t received any text messages from iPhone users. According to Pash, an Apple tech support employee explained that lots of people are having similar problems, but there’s no standard fix at this point. “No one can fix this but Apple because it’s a problem at the device level, which means people in my position have no recourse but to wait for Apple to figure out with the problem is,” Pash wrote. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple is reportedly restricting its German retail employees from taking time off in September, hinting at the launch of a new product that month, iFun reports. It’s expected the 4.7” iPhone 6 will launch in September. Other stores across the world will likely follow suit with similar vacation time restrictions. Another recent rumor expected the new iPhone to launch in August, but that appears unlikely at this point.
Apple will launch the 8GB iPhone 5c in India following a brief early-2014 campaign to resuscitate the iPhone 4 there, reports The Times of India, using an old phone trade-in program to make the iPhone 5c more affordable for Indian consumers. According to the report, Apple will price the 8GB model at 35,000-37,000 rupees (approx. $588-$621), with the trade-in program reducing the price to 30,000 rupees (approx. $504)—a discount of only 2,000 rupees (approx. $34) below the 16GB version. The company has struggled to gain market share in India, selling far fewer units than rival Samsung and even regionally-known brands, but is apparently working to increase the average selling price of its devices in the value-conscious country.