Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars ($1) has upgraded to version 1.3.0, and with it comes Lando Bird, a bird based on Billy Dee Williams’ famously suave Lando Calrissian. The game picks up at the point where Lando Bird is joining the Rebel Alliance, for those trying to keep their Star Wars and Star Wars Angry Birds timelines in order. Rovio has added 20 new Cloud City levels, new power-ups, new bonus levels, and a new boss fight — players can now take on Lard Vader. The same updates have been added to the iPad-only Angry Birds Star Wars HD ($3).
Myspace has completely revamped its free Myspace app to match the changes on its site. The new app now has a GIF creator and Social Radio, which allows users to create personal radio stations, like Pandora. It’s easier to connect with people through People Browse, and a number of other social sharing features have been added. There’s a heavier emphasis on music — will it be enough to get people talking about Myspace again?
Apple’s iOS 7 is adding improved integration for Bluetooth 4 LE (low-energy) accessories. iOS devices will work with more Bluetooth 4 accessories, and include new features for time, notifications, stereo sound, keyboards and more. An ability to sense location beacons will make location awareness much more precise. It will also be possible to set up and configure Wi-Fi accessories from iOS. Bluetooth will also be linked to the Apple Notification Center Service and Preservation and Restoration service. The ANCS allows for push notifications to Bluetooth Smart accessories. The Preservation and Restoration Service can figure out why an app was terminated, or to continue running an app, whereas in iOS 6, an app would stop talking to a Bluetooth device in such situations. [via 9to5Mac]
iOS 7 users will be able to redeem iTunes gift cards using the device’s camera, thanks to an addition to the upcoming operating system’s App Store. iTunes for the Mac added the same feature last year, and it makes even more sense to bring the option to iOS devices. Additionally, the ability to read barcodes is built into iOS 7, opening up greater possibilities from third-party developers going forward. [via 9to5Mac]
Many of the new icons in Apple’s recently revealed iOS 7 were “primarily designed by members of Apple’s marketing and communications department,” according to a report. Apple Senior VP of Industrial Design Jony Ive reportedly used the print and web marketing design team to “set the look and color palette of the stock app icons.” The app design teams then designed the icons using those set palettes as a guide. Sources also said there are “inconsistencies in icon design,” and it’s been noted that iOS 7’s first beta is “mid stride” and a “work in progress,” fueling speculation that there could be a fair number of changes to the new OS by the time it’s ready for full release in the Fall. [via The Next Web]
iOS 7 detects when non-certified Lightning accessories are connected to iOS devices, and offers an onscreen warning: “This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this (iPod/iPhone/iPad).” The message appeared when connecting a non-certified accessory.
Despite the warning, the message can be dismissed, and users can continue to use a non-certified accessory. The current version of iOS 7 is only a first beta version, and the message may be changed or eliminated by the time the software is officially released. [via 9to5mac]
Apple’s AirPort Utility (free) manages Wi-Fi networks and AirPort base stations — AirPort Express, Extreme, and Time Capsule — from an iOS device. The newly released version 1.3 lets users configure and manage the new AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule with 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
PGA TOUR Caddie (free) by Shotzoon Software is an amazing app for golfers. TOUR Caddie offers GPS access to 500,000 greens across more than 40,000 golf courses worldwide, and a 3-D flyover preview lets golfers visualize each hole. Golfers can track and record each shot, including clubs used and round info, as well as comparing statistics to other golfers with similar handicaps. Additionally, the in-app TOURAcademy purchase ($10 per year) offers tips and drills video from instructors, and TOURCaddie PRO (free 30-day trial, $30 per year) gives golfers real-time distances to hazards and targets on each hole, and on-the-spot club recommendations based on performance.
As announced earlier at today’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple has released the first beta of iOS 7 to registered iOS developers. Carrying a build number of 11A4372q, the beta is available for all models of the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 4, as well as the fifth-generation iPod touch.
An iOS 7 beta for the iPad is not yet available and was announced as coming later this month. The beta downloads are also accompanied by a beta of Xcode 5 with the iOS 7 SDK, a pre-release Apple TV Software version for the second- and third-generation Apple TV, and a beta version of Find My iPhone for the new security features in iOS 7. The beta is available now to registered iOS developers from Apple’s iOS Dev Center.
Apple has launched an iOS 7 page, showcasing the features of its newly announced mobile operating system. The iOS 7 introduction video is available on the site, in addition to 12 new or updated iOS 7 features, shown in action.
These features include: Control Center, Notification Center, Multitasking, iTunes Radio, Photos, AirDrop, Camera, Safari, Siri, Mail, Weather, and Messages. Links on the page let readers get a closer look at the new design and features.
Apple announced iTunes Radio, the company’s long-rumored streaming music service. iTunes Radio is a free, ad-supported service, and it’s ad-free for iTunes Match users. The Pandora-esque service lets users choose featured music stations, or create their own stations based on specific artists. iTunes Radio keeps track of played songs within its history. Initially launching in the U.S., iTunes Radio is built into the iOS 7 Music app, and it will also be built into iTunes for Mac, PC, and Apple TV.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced iOS 7, the company’s latest operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Touting amazing new features and a “stunning new user interface,” iOS 7 represents a significant departure from the well-known iOS software design, delivering an entirely new UI structure with refined typography, redesigned icons, and a new color palette. The new UI also involves more transparency, layered effects, and new animation and motion. iOS 7 was described by Cook as “the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone.”
The App Store now updates apps automatically. Notification Center is now accessible from the lock screen. Multiple pages are now possible within folders. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen now activates Control Center, which allows users to adjust brightness, volume, playback controls, Do Not Disturb, and more, while accessing a flashlight option as well. All apps will now allow multitasking, and iOS 7 uses “intelligent scheduling” to refresh app information. A double-click on the home button lets users swipe left and right through all open apps to multitask. An updated weather app, calendar, and messages were shown off in a demonstration.
Safari for iOS 7 has a full-screen interface with swipe navigation for browsing. Tabs for Safari now give a preview of the page, while scrolling up-and-down, and there’s no longer an 8-tab limit. AirDrop for iOS 7 lets users share securely encrypted files with nearby users over peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. Filters have been added to Camera, and a new Photos app makes it easier for users to organize photos with its new Collections feature.
Siri has been updated with a new interface and new voices — female or male. French and German voices are available with other languages to be added “over time.” Siri can now do more commands such as “turn on Bluetooth” or “increase brightness.” Twitter, Wikipedia, and Bing have also been integrated into Siri. iOS in the Car was announced, featuring integration into the display screens of cars.
A new “Activation Lock” feature has also been introduced that will prevent a stolen iPhone from being re-activated—even after a full wipe—without entering the original owner’s iCloud Apple ID and password.
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]