iOS 7 user interface still under development, could see major changes from version presented at WWDC

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Date: Thursday, June 13th, 2013, 06:24
Category: iOS, News, Software

iOS-7-Logo

You know that new, flatter look demoed for iOS 7 at WWDC?

It’s probably not the final version.

Per The Next Web, sources familiar with Apple’s latest mobile operating system said the iOS 7 beta, as well as the preview shown at the WWDC keynote on Monday, is a “mid-stride” snapshot of the work being done behind closed doors.

The pace is so quick that some of the builds used to present the OS on stage two days ago were later versions of what was seeded to developers in the iOS 7 beta. It can’t be confirmed which feature sets are more advanced, though the beta version is slightly inconsistent with the OS demoed on Monday by software engineering head Craig Federighi.

The fact that iOS 7 will change before it is released seems obvious in that the software currently in the hands of developers are beta versions meant for testing. However, while backend and UI tweaks are expected to change for early build software, the radically different new design language of iOS 7 is also reportedly largely under construction.

Interestingly, Apple’s senior vice president of Industrial Design Jony Ive, who is now also the head of the company’s Human Interaction section, called on in-house marketing design teams to flesh out the much-ballyhooed first party app icons.

The sources said both print and web design personnel laid down a framework of color palettes and a general “look,” which Ive’s app designers used as guidelines to produce what was seen in the iOS 7 preview. As with operational facets of the OS, these are also works in progress.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said iOS 7 is the biggest change to iOS since the first iPhone was introduced in 2007, and from a design perspective that rings true. Ive and his team have managed to dismantle almost every theme and nuance that the OS has amassed over the preceding six years and six generations. From skeuomorphic iconography to UI and UX, the new iOS 7 tears down almost everything, replacing it with a clean, if not controversial, design. Apple has managed, at least in these early builds, to achieve a feel that is at once completely new and wholly familiar.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to include “kill switch” feature in iOS 7, require Apple ID and password to reenable stolen devices

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 12th, 2013, 07:44
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, security, Software

iOS-7-Logo

This shouldn’t be overlooked.

According to CNN, Apple will add an Activation Lock features as part of iOS 7. The feature, which functions as a “kill switch”, will require an Apple ID and password before an iOS device’s “Find My iPhone” feature can be turned off or any data can be erased.

At a keynote address opening its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, the company said the same ID and password will be needed to reactivate a device after it’s been remotely erased. The same ID and password will still be required even after the SIM card has been removed from the stolen device.

As mobile devices become more popular, stealing them has become a unique sort of crime that has law enforcement and government officials taking notice.

In New York, a special police unit has been created to deal with stolen mobile devices.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

“JOBS” biopic to open nationwide on August 19th

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 12th, 2013, 07:57
Category: News

If you’re interested in Steve Jobs-based biopic goodness, the film hits this August.


SteveJobsBiopic

Per 9to5Mac, the Ashton Kutcher led JOBS biopic will debut on August 17th according to a press release:

“Open Road Films will release JOBS – the highly anticipated film chronicling the story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout to one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century – nationwide on August 16, 2013. JOBS details the major moments and defining characters that influenced Steve Jobs on a daily basis from 1971 through 2001. The film plunges into the depths of his character, creating an intense dialogue-driven story that is as much a sweeping epic as it is an immensely personal portrait of Steve Jobs’ life. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matthew Whiteley, JOBS was shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter and produced by Mark Hulme. JOBS stars Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine.”

The release got mixed reviews at Sundance earlier this year and was delayed from an original April 19th release date.

Google buys out Waze, leaves company as independent entity for time being

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 12th, 2013, 07:57
Category: iOS, News, Software

waze_logo

It had to happen sometime.

But at least it’s under interesting circumstances.

Per The Mac Observer, Google has put an end to the rumors that it has been negotiating to buy Waze with the announcement that it has, in fact, signed a deal with the crowdsourced mapping and navigation company. Google Vice President of Geo Brian McClendon said Waze will remain an independent company for now, and its development team won’t be leaving Israel.

Mr. McClendon stated the following:

“The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now. We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities.

We’ll also work closely with the vibrant Waze community, who are the DNA of this app, to ensure they have what’s needed to grow and prosper.”

Waze is a popular turn-by-turn navigation app for the iPhone that improves accuracy and gathers realtime traffic data from its users. The deal will give Google access to the data Waze is collecting and will make it easier for the two companies to collaborate on new features.

Google is promising that even though there will be some feature sharing between its own maps product and Waze, users won’t be hit with any big surprises. The Waze team backed that up, saying, “Nothing practical will change here at Waze. We will maintain our community, brand, service and organization – the community hierarchy, responsibilities and processes will remain the same.”

The reason behind the deal, according to Waze, was because the company wasn’t interested in going public. They chose to strike a deal with Google because of the promise to be able to continue operating as an independent company.

Rumors surfaced earlier this year that Facebook and Google were both negotiating to buy Waze in deals expected to top US$1 billion. Facebook, as well as Apple, already had deals in place with Waze; Facebook for social sharing of locations, and Apple for navigation and location data for its own Maps app. Since Waze gets to continue operating as an independent company, it looks like those deals won’t be changing, although that could change some time in the future.

That being said, Waze remains a killer app available for free on the App Store, requires iOS 4.3 or later to install and run and becomes useful very quickly.

Take a gander and we’ll have additional details as they become available.

iFixit completes Haswell-based MacBook Air teardown, finds changes in battery, SSD, other modules

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Date: Wednesday, June 12th, 2013, 06:21
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, News

The Haswell-based MacBook Air is out, and in their usual fine style, the ubergeeks at iFixit have completed a full teardown of the notebook. Per AppleInsider, the updated notebook features minor changes seen in battery size, the SSD module and integrated graphics, among others.

Most notable among the hardware revisions is an enlarged battery, which moves from a 7.3V 6700mAh pack to a 7.6V 7150mAh unit. The cells still dominate the Air’s innards.


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Apple touts the new 13-inch model will last 12 hours on a charge, but the battery is not thought to be the main contributor to that spec buff. Instead, the Air uses Intel’s Haswell ULT silicon, which offers huge decreases in power consumption while serving up snappier performance.

With Haswell, Intel moved to its next-generation integrated graphics solution, Intel HD Graphics 5000, which doesn’t require a separate board.

Adding to the updated component list is a new SSD module from Samsung, which is smaller than similar parts used in previous MacBook Air iterations. With the new size comes new technology, as the latest SSD unit uses a PCIe bus rather than SATA, a first for Mac. PCIe can achieve rates of up to 800MB/s, while SATA is limited to about 600MB/s.

The new Air is also the first to employ the fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol, which required the computer’s wireless card to be updated. Apple launched redesigned AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule models to take advantage of the new standard, and is planning on incorporating the technology into future Macs as they roll out.

The only change made to the MacBook Air’s chassis is a hole to accommodate the addition of a second internal microphone used for sound cancellation duties.

Other smaller tweaks include a redesigned heat sink clamp, repositioned speaker cabling and a revamped MagSafe 2 board that no longer holds a socket for the laptop’s iSight camera.

If you’ve gotten your mitts on the new MacBook Air and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Siri to see new features, improvements under iOS 7, will exclude Google searches

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Date: Tuesday, June 11th, 2013, 09:06
Category: iOS, News, Software

Come iOS 7, you’ll be seeing some changes with Siri.

Per Macworld, as part of the iOS 7 overhaul, Siri will receive a brand-new interface, voice monitoring, and a results panel that appears on the bottom of the screen. Siri’s slightly robotic diction is no more, replaced by smoother female (or male) voices. French and German will be supported at launch, with more languages coming soon.

During the WWDC keynote, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue noted that “Siri is getting a lot smarter,” with new support for listening to your voicemail, enabling and disabling services, and more intelligent searching.

Answering more questions:
Among other new features, Siri now has full Twitter integration; you can tell the service, “Tell me what Dan is saying,” and it will display a full list of Dan’s tweets.

It also appears that Siri has ditched Google as a search option. Previously, if you requested a search, it’d kick you out to Safari to perform it. Now, it appears to perform Wikipedia and Bing searches inline: Ask Siri to tell you about surfing, and you’ll be presented with the Wikipedia surfing page.

System service options:
Siri also now lets you turn system services on and off with your voice, no button-pushing necessary. If you need to turn off Bluetooth, just say, “turn off Bluetooth” and Siri will comply.

Voicemail, photos, and more:
Cue didn’t demonstrate all of Siri’s new features, but he did mention that users would be able to call up their voicemail and search their photo collections. More information on Siri will likely be available as iOS 7 inches closer to release this fall. There was no word on whether this newer, smarter Siri would be available as part of OS X.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Haswell-based MacBook Air sports record-breaking SSD benchmark test results, PCIe bus cited

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Date: Tuesday, June 11th, 2013, 07:52
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, News

If you were considering snagging a brand new, just-released MacBook Air notebook, you’re going to like this.

Per 9to5Mac and French web site MacBidouille, Apple’s new Haswell-powered MacBook Airs produced SSD read and write speeds so fast in bench tests that they initially thought it must have been a bug in their test software. A second run in different software revealed that, no, the latest Airs really do offer read & write speeds higher than the maximum possible with SATA 3.

The secret is that Apple is using the same PCIe-based SSDs in the latest MacBook Air as they announced for the new Mac Pro …

On the storage front, Apple officially leads the charge with the move to PCIe based SSDs. The upcoming Mac Pro, as well as the new MacBook Airs both use PCIe based SSDs instead of SATA drives. A quick look at OS X’s system profiler reveals a PCIe 2.0 x2 interface, capable of 1GB/s in each direction.

PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) is the standard already used in the ExpressCard slot used in some notebooks, and offers a direct link to the motherboard without the bottleneck created by a SATA interface (SATA 3 tops out at 600MB/s).

A series of tests over on AnandTech confirmed MacBidouille‘s results, with even higher speeds seen on larger file transfers, describing it as the first time PCIe storage has been seen in a mainstream consumer device.

While Apple’s focus for the new CPU was better battery-life rather than faster speed, tests show that the processor speeds are 3-8% faster than the previous models.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Next-gen Mac Pro size/scale revealed via hand picture

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 11th, 2013, 06:24
Category: Hardware, Mac Pro, News, Pictures

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, this one from Electronista regarding Apple’s upcoming Mac Pro computer says even more…


macprohand

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases AirPort Utility 6.3, AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule 7.7.1, adds support for 802.11ac AirPort Extreme units, bug fixes

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Date: Tuesday, June 11th, 2013, 06:56
Category: News, Software, wireless

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OS X’s Software Update feature is your friend.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple released updates for the Mac, iPhone and iPad versions of AirPort Utility late on Monday following the release of the redesigned 802.11ac-compatible AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule Basestations. The update added support for the new wireless network routers.

AirPort Utility 6.3, a 20.64 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
– The ability to extend the Guest Wi-Fi network on a network that is configured with multiple AirPort Base Stations.

– The ability to add a WPS-capable Wi-Fi printer.

– Improved international support.

AirPort Utility 6.3 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later to install and run.

AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule 7.7.1, a 4.6 megabyte download via Software Update, adds the following fixes and changes:
– Update for AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations with 802.11ac.

– Resolves a rare issue that may cause the hard drive in AirPort Time Capsule or a hard drive connected via USB to become unresponsive.

AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule 7.7.1 requires and Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.2 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new versions and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

iTunes Radio announced, will arrive in the fall

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 10th, 2013, 13:06
Category: News, Software

You knew it was coming.

It just took an epic amount of contract work and negotiation to bring everyone on board.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple has now officially unveiled its iTunes Radio service and provided some details on exactly how it will work during its keynote presentation this morning at Moscone West in San Francisco.


stations

The new iTunes Radio app is built into the iOS radio app, and works on the Mac and Apple TV as well. As rumored, iTunes Radio will be free, supported by ads. In a twist, however, iTunes Radio will be completely free (free of ads) if you’re a subscriber to iTunes Match and will feature over 200 stations.

The service’s underlining technology is based on Apple’s iTunes Genius feature with iTunes Radio tailoring the experience to your iTunes usage. Apple says there will be Siri integration, and also aims to offer users “access to exclusive “first listen” premieres from top selling artists.

The service will roll out initially in the US only with iOS 7 this Fall.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.