Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote is about to begin in San Francisco, California, with iOS 7, an Apple music streaming service nicknamed iRadio, and new Mac computers/software expected to be officially announced. We’ll be providing live updates throughout the course of the event to let you know what’s happening with iOS 7, any new iOS-related accessories, and other products that may be announced. Click on the title of this article for the latest details as they happen.
Note: We’ve moved iOS-related updates to the top of the article so you can see them before the Mac-related news.
Note 2: The event is now over, with all updates below.
Apple is set to unveil iOS 7 today, and 9to5Mac has posted a mockup of Apple’s new OS released with additional details before its official debut. iOS 7 reportedly uses a thinner font throughout the Home Screens. Apple has replaced the carrier signal bars with five white or gray dots. App icons have also changed in various ways — for instance, Camera is now gray with the image of a camera, as opposed to a lens. The Photos, Game Center and Safari icons have changed, while Mail, Music, App Store, and iTunes Store icons apparently look like flatter versions of the previous icons.
There are also apparently two color schemes for many of the apps — a “black” color scheme and “white” scheme. It’s unknown what role these schemes will play, but black and white iPhones could have their own color schemes, or the phone might change color schemes based on time or the amount of ambient light. Maps will reportedly add walking directions, and as was previously reported, AirDrop sharing will be available.
Curbed Network’s popular food blog Eater has introduced its free Eater app. Eater’s app offers dining recommendations from the site, allowing users to find the Eater 38 and Eater Heatmap restaurants and bars in their location. Keep in mind that only selected cities will have Eater recommendations, due to the site’s focus on major population centers. A list of all restaurants can also be perused, and Eater stories can also be viewed right through the app.
Zen Studios’ new Marvel Pinball ($1) is a prime example of how in-app purchases can work properly. The game begins by including a full-fledged Avengers pinball table in 3-D, complete with all of the 2012 film’s major characters — it’s a good game on its own. Another 14 extra tables are offered for $2 each, focusing narrowly on specific Marvel comic books (including Captain America, The Amazing Spider Man, Ghost Rider) or series (Civil War, The Infinity Gauntlet, World War Hulk). Every table adds enough new voice samples, art, and music to give each table its own distinctive theme and collection of 3-D models to see. Tables always have multiple levels thanks to ramps, intensity comparable to the best real-world pinball machines, and occasional opportunities for camera-zoomed close-ups on individual character models.
While there’s certainly $2 worth of value in each of the extra tables we tested, including X-Men, Iron Man, and Wolverine, fans of Marvel’s movies may find the comic-inspired source material choices a little iffy: for instance, the Iron Man table eschews War Machine/Iron Patriot references in favor of jokes about Tony Stark’s boozing history, while X-Men leans heavily on 1980’s-vintage characters and color schemes rather than the films’ darker versions. Additionally, though you can shift between several very different camera angles in landscape mode, the views in portrait orientation are substantially similar, and don’t show off the 3-D table models quite as well. Apart from those small issues, Marvel Pinball is certainly worth checking out if you love pinball or any of Marvel’s franchises.
Two hacks capable of exploiting Apple products have recently surfaced. Plexconnect allows the Plex media player client to run on Apple TV without jailbreaking the device. While an iOS Plex app has been available, this new hack puts Plex on the Apple TV with nothing more than a brief connection between the Apple TV and a computer, thanks to a trick that re-routes the Trailers application to a different web address. Apple will likely respond quickly to patch this exploit.
Another Apple hack comes through a phone charger and exploits iOS devices. Researchers from Georgia Tech claim to have developed an accessory that can invisibly install malware on a device running the newest version of iOS. The malicious charger is built around a $45 open-source single-board computer, and it can allegedly compromise an iOS device in less than a minute. Researchers plan on revealing the charger at July’s Black Hat security conference; it’s unclear whether the charger uses a Dock Connector or Lightning interface. [via 9to5Mac, Forbes]
Google’s Chrome (free) has been updated to version 27.0.1453.10. Voice search has been improved in the update, as the app now features faster voice recognition, with text results streamed on the fly. Answers are now spoken back to users, and web results are tailored to questions. Pages also reload faster now, even if the network is slow or unavailable.
Eye-Fi (free) has updated its app to version 3.0 with iPhone 5 screen support, as well as a somewhat redesigned interface, and support for the new mobile device-focused Mobi model of the Eye-Fi card. Bug fixes and stability improvements are also included in the update, along with in-app video playback.
Apple has released an official WWDC app, just ahead of next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The app notably features daily session videos for all Registered Apple Developers, enabling thousands of people to have access to the event’s tutorials despite the continued unavailability of tickets.
Users of the app can also browse the conference’s schedule, keep up with news, and view maps of Moscone West, among other features. Attendees can also add their information to Passbook for quicker on-site registration.
Apple is reportedly testing versions of iOS 7 with AirDrop, the Mac’s Wi-Fi file sharing tool, which lets users exchange files between devices more easily than sending e-mails or using Messages. According to a report, AirDrop may be integrated into the iOS sharing menu, and could work between two iOS devices, or between a Mac and an iOS device. Like the reported Flickr and Vimeo integration in iOS 7, there’s a possibility AirDrop will not make it to the newest version of iOS. [via 9to5Mac]
- May 31, 2013
We’ve got our hands on the new, stripped-down $229 16GB iPod touch. The new edition lacks the rear iSight camera and loop wrist strap found on the 32GB and 64GB models.
We have pictures of the new device and our initial thoughts in our original fifth-generation iPod touch review. A full review of the new edition will be posted early next week.
Pioneer has announced the XDJ-R1 ($899), an all-in-one DJ system using wireless control functionality through an iOS app. The app lets users continue music mixing performances even while away from the system by allowing access to many of the system’s functions.
The XDJ-R1 features auto beat loop, beat sync, USB connectivity, built-in dual CD players, MIDI control, and a number of music mix features. Pioneer says the XDJ-R1 will be available in June.
Apple has raised its prices for the iPad and iPod in Japan in response to a weaker yen, according to a report. For instance, the 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad now sells for 49,800 yen ($493), an increase of about $70. The iPod shuffle increased roughly the equivalent of $6. “We made some pricing adjustments due to changes in foreign exchange rates,” Apple spokesman Takashi Takabayashi said. [via Bloomberg]
Google Multiplatform Chief Sundar Pichai announced that Google Play Music All Access will launch for iOS “a couple weeks from now.” Google Play Music All Access is Google’s new streaming music service, and currently offers unlimited access for $8 a month; the price will jump to $10 a month in July. [via All Things D]
Capcom’s Phoenix Wright has made his way to iOS in Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD (free). The Ace Attorney games are visual adventures casting the player in the role of a defense attorney. Though marketed as a trilogy, the app is freemium; it’s notable that only the first two episodes of the franchise’s first game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, are free to play. In-app purchases are required to purchase the remaining games, either separately or in a bundle. However, even if you have no intention on spending money, the Phoenix Wright Trilogy is still worth a download for those first two episodes. The Ace Attorney games feature memorable characters and engaging gameplay.
Realmac Software’s Analog Camera ($1) is a new camera app with three camera modes — including manual focus and exposure — and eight filters. Designed to be easy to use and minimalist, Analog Camera lets users quickly add filters to the device’s camera, with simple Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail sharing. Analog Camera doesn’t have a landscape mode or orientation support — the photos are square. The app may be best for people who want to share filtered photos, but don’t want to sign up for Instagram.
Without a press release, Apple has quietly released an unusually stripped-down 16GB version of the fifth-generation iPod touch, eliminating the rear iSight camera and loop wrist strap found in the previously-released 32GB and 64GB models. The new 16GB iPod touch retains the other specifications of the late 2012 models, but is available solely in a silver and black color combination, selling for $229 with packed-in EarPods earphones. It is two grams lighter than before due to the missing components, and will be available in U.S. stores starting tomorrow.
Apple simultaneously appears to have discontinued the fourth-generation iPod touch, which remained available in two storage capacities to preserve a $199 option in the touch family. iPod sales have continued to slide from previous highs quarter after quarter, due as much to weak feature and price combinations as the continued strength of new iPhone and iPad models.
Update: Apple has also announced that 100 million iPod touches have been sold since 2007. [via Engadget]
Macally has announced iKeyLT ($60), the second full-size wired keyboard debuted thus far for Lightning devices. iKeyLT comes with a 2.75-foot long cable, four rubber feet, and two kickstands for changing the keyboard’s position. A foldable iPad stand is also included.
Macally’s iKeyLT comes in white, and $1 from every keyboard sold will be donated to U.S. educational charities. iKeyLT will be available in July; a 30-pin version of the keyboard called iKey30 is available now for the same $60 price.
Apple has agreed to pay $53 million to resolve a class action lawsuit regarding warranty claims denied due to alleged water damage, Bloomberg reports. The lawsuit alleged that the liquid submersion indicators on iPhones and iPods could be triggered through ordinary use, which would have resulted in some devices being incorrectly excluded from warranty coverage, as Apple summarily denied repairs when the indicator was triggered on a device. Apple had denied the allegations, maintaining that the indicators were reliable.
Affected consumers whose warranty claims were denied on the basis of Apple’s liquid damage policy may be eligible for up to $300 depending on the device model owned. The settlement applies to warranty claims denied for iPhones before Dec 31, 2009 or iPod touch devices prior to June 2010.
Formerly known as Weather HD, a long-time favorite of iLounge’s editors, Vimov has re-released its weather app as Clear Day ($2). Clear Day is version 2.5 of the prior app, with a new layout that reduces obscuring elements to let you see more of the weather videos. A free version — Clear Day Free — is ad-supported and lacks push notifications for severe alerts. Users of the full version can add an unlimited number of cities, as well as advanced weather data using in-app purchases.
Photo editing app Halftone 2 (free) from Juicy Bits allows users to turn their photos into comic book pages. A sequel to the original Halftone app, Halftone 2 is freemium, offering many in-app purchases. Users can easily insert thought bubbles and words into their photos, as well as tweaking colors and comic book-style layouts. There are also plenty of sharing options, via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, and more.
The new iOS 7 is reportedly dropping heavy textures and adding black and white elements, with sources calling the new iOS “black, white, and flat all over.” A new report from 9to5Mac offers more details about iOS 7, about a month after a previous report noted the new iOS would have a “very, very flat” interface. Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive is — as many expected — leading iOS away from skeuomorphism, reportedly believing “designs filled with physical metaphors do not stand the test of time,” and that differing designs could confuse users.
Ive has apparently made sweeping changes to the interface. These changes may include: A removal of the shiny, transparent time bar on the lock screen, replacing it with a “shine-free, black” interface; the square pin code grid will feature round, black buttons; the lock screen could utilize additional gestures; widgets may be added to Notification Center; Notification Center will be dark with white text instead of featuring the current “dark linen” background; a panel for Wi-Fi, airplane mode, and Bluetooth toggles could be added; app icons have “lost shine” and Apple icons have been made less skeuomorphic; Apple’s Notes, Mail, Calendar, and Maps apps have a uniformed “flat white” look; panorama-like wallpapers are available; navigation and tab bars have lost gradient textures with some bars sporting a “minor blurring effect”; App Store, Newsstand, Game Center, Safari, Camera, and Weather have changed significantly; iPhone may introduce its own standalone FaceTime app, just like iPad and iPod touch.
iOS 7 has reportedly been “re-architected” several times, so interface changes are still possible. Designers and engineers are also “prioritizing an overhaul of the iPhone’s version of iOS” over iPad’s version of the software. As noted earlier, Flickr and Vimeo will likely be integrated. iOS 7 will likely be released in the fall with new Apple hardware.
Foursquare Labs has introduced a number of new search features to its Foursquare (free) app in version 6.2, letting users filter searches by price, places that users have saved, places users haven’t been yet, places open at that time, and more new options. These advanced filters were added to the desktop version of the site a few weeks ago; now they’ve made their way to Foursquare’s mobile app.
“Fearless” isn’t the first word we’d generally use to describe brick-breaking games—the Breakout-inspired genre is so old and established that new versions can’t help but feel iterative. Yet Barry Kostjens’ new Hyper Breaker Turbo ($2) manages to feel genuinely fresh and even pretty ingenious, thanks to the developer’s decision to throw away some of Breakout’s most classic rules. Instead of requiring you to break every brick on the screen before moving to the next level, Hyper Breaker Turbo’s 75 stages continue scrolling upwards to follow the motion of your ball, which can be gently reflected off your curved paddle, or smashed with upward momentum. The paddle can pass through bricks, but the ball must break or dodge them, adding another interesting twist to keep things moving smoothly. You beat each stage by making the ball touch a goal that’s generally several screen lengths up, buried behind layers of destructible bricks and walls formed by unbreakable blocks. While the game’s graphics and music aren’t going to wow anyone, they’re competent enough to look and sound good on even the latest Retina iPads and iPhones, while the touchscreen is used ideally for paddle and ball physics. Breakout fans should consider this one a must-see for the price.
ABC Aquarium ($3) by Peapod Labs is yet another release in the company’s ABC family of universal iOS education apps. Each app has brought a new theme, complete with an alphabet’s worth of new photographs, videos, and simple rub-on-the-picture activities, plus small user interface improvements. Aquarium leverages all of the prior titles’ UI tricks to provide a relatively seamless look at dozens of different fish and animals you’d find at aquariums, ranging from sea lions to koi, lobsters to zebrafish. The photos in this edition are particularly compelling, thanks to high-res details and great colors, though as with prior editions, some issues slip through — two images of Emperor Angelfish are nearly identical, for instance, and some of the swiping activities feel a bit underdeveloped and stale. Once again, each letter of the alphabet includes multiple photos for one or more creatures, plus in-frame YouTube videos that teach kids more than just the letters and words for each animal. Parents looking for bilingual instruction can also switch on an optional translation feature that flips each word between English and Spanish.
Disney’s Disney Junior Appisodes app (free) is a new hub to hold interactive versions of full-length TV episodes. Recommended for ages 4 and up, Disney Junior Appisodes let children touch, tap, swipe, tilt, shake, and talk through Disney Junior episodes while completing activities. The app comes with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally Appisode—a standalone download we previously found incredibly impressive—and additional Appisodes are available for purchase within the app.
Apple is reportedly planning an “increased presence of third-party social networks” in iOS 7, and more specifically, a deeper integration of photo and video sharing services Flickr and Vimeo. According to a 9to5Mac report, users will be able to sign into Flickr or Vimeo using iOS 7’s Settings application. Users could log into and use Flickr and Vimeo as simply as they currently use Facebook or Twitter for iOS. However, the report notes a “very real possibility that any feature in testing could be removed” before iOS 7 is announced.
While a recent report detailed Apple and Yahoo’s discussion of a deeper partnership, it’s unknown if the Yahoo-owned Flickr was part of those talks. The proposed addition of Vimeo to iOS could conceivably further distance Apple from Google’s YouTube app; sources didn’t comment on Vimeo completely replacing YouTube.