Rumor: iOS 7 to include long-awaited AirDrop file sharing feature

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Date: Monday, June 3rd, 2013, 06:57
Category: iOS, Rumor, Software

Granted, no one has ANY REAL IDEA as to what iOS 7′s interface will look like, but there’s some cool new and improved features rumored to be coming down the pipe.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple is currently testing versions of iOS 7 internally that include the AirDrop WiFi-direct file sharing tool from the Mac, according to sources close to the story.

Like the rumored Flickr and Vimeo integration that’s been making the rounds, it is very simple for Apple to remove any single feature from the new operating system ahead of the mid-June unveiling.

Additionally, Apple has scrapped AirDrop late in software development from iOS before. Last year, we reported that Apple was developing an AirDrop tool to take advantage of the new WiFi hardware inside of Apple’s latest iOS devices. Because Apple has postponed the feature before, we believe it is possible that the feature could be pushed back again…

Sources say that the AirDrop functionality is currently integrated into the standard iOS share menu. AirDrop will work between two iOS devices and potentially between an iOS device and a Mac. The feature will make it easier than ever to transfer, for example, a photograph or document from one person’s iPhone to another person’s iPad.

While iCloud synchronization works well for sharing photos and documents between two iOS devices owned by the same person, the AirDrop feature will allow seamless individual file exchanges between iOS devices belonging to different people. Apple launched this functionality between Mac computers in 2011 with OS X Lion.

Notably, this potential addition will increase feature parity between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. Android has included peer-to-peer file sharing for multiple releases of the software, but the implementation can be confusing due to fragmentation. For example, Samsung has its own unique fork of peer-to-peer file sharing while Google’s stock Android builds include its own implementation. AirDrop for iOS will be seamless in that it will work the same way on all of Apple’s supported products.

Finally, rumors have also pointed towards improved in-car-integration for Maps and Siri – something I think most iOS users can appreciate.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Drive space upgraded to 15 GB for all accounts, transition to take place over next few weeks

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Date: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013, 06:25
Category: iOS, News, Software

Google-Drive-Logo

You can’t knock healthy competition.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Google announced that it will be upgrading its complimentary Google Drive storage space from 5 GB to 15 GB.

Google says the changes will be rolling out over the next several weeks to all customers. All that space is shared, so if you are just using Google Drive Photo (for example), that 15 GB is shared with any other Google services that require storage.

With this move, Google has unified its storage system, a similar concept to the Apple pool of iCloud storage, although at this point Apple does not count image storage in Photo Stream against your 5 GB allotment. Google has a free iOS app so you can access this storage space, and it can also be managed through a web browser on any computer.

Take a gander at Google Drive as the upgrade occurs and if you love it or hate it, please let us know in the comments, as always.

Apple apparently unwilling to release Windows 8 version of iTunes

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Date: Friday, May 10th, 2013, 06:48
Category: News, Software

Well, this is kind of a new one.

Per Mac|Life and CNN Money, Microsoft has apparently been pushing Apple for a Windows 8-native edition of iTunes, which currently only runs in traditional Desktop mode on the company’s Metro-style software — and not at all on the tablet-centric Windows RT.

“You shouldn’t expect an iTunes app on Windows 8 any time soon,” laments Windows Division CFO Tami Reller. “ITunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It’s not for lack of trying.”

While Apple has grudgingly carried over iTunes, Safari, QuickTime and even iCloud to the Windows platform, the company has largely ignored Windows 8, which debuted six months ago and claims to have sold 10 million licenses during that time.

Thus far, the sole exception is a recent OS X Mountain Lion update which added Windows 8 compatibility to Boot Camp — but that’s for running Microsoft’s OS on Apple’s hardware, not for Apple software on Windows computers.

Windows RT owners are the ones suffering most from Apple’s neglect — they can’t install iTunes at all since it requires Intel hardware, which means a traditional desktop or laptop computer or more expensive Windows Pro tablet.

However, even that is a less than ideal experience, since iTunes doesn’t currently take advantage of the native Windows 8 experience, instead running as a window inside the classic Desktop view.

While the words “bargaining chip” come to mind, we’ll have to wait and see if an accord can be reached between Apple and Microsoft as to what to do with iTunes when it comes to the Windows 8 universe…

SpamSieve updated to 2.9.7

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Date: Thursday, May 2nd, 2013, 06:42
Category: News, Software

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No one ever slighted a useful update.

Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.9.7. The new version, a 10.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X.

- Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.

- SpamSieve no longer links against AppleScriptKit. This removes some GUI scripting functionality (which is now largely available by other means) but works around an OS bug that could prevent SpamSieve from launching.

- Worked around a bug in Apple Mail’s iCloud rule syncing.

- SpamSieve is better at moving trained messages when Outlook has lost track of the special Junk E-mail folder.

- Fixed a problem where Apple Mail couldn’t communicate with SpamSieve when the file permissions were incorrect.

- Fixed a bug where SpamSieve couldn’t load any addresses from Outlook if it reported an error while getting the e-mail address of a contact.

- Fixed a bug editing counts in the Corpus window (due to suspected 64-bit OS bug).

- Added more checks that the folders SpamSieve relies upon have the proper permissions.

- Improved error reporting for Apple Mail, Growl, and more.

- Improved handling of file permissions errors.

- The Apple Mail drone script now sets the junk status.

- Wrote a script that allows SpamSieve to filter messages (in Apple Mail) that have been organized by SaneBox.

- Improved the Japanese localization.

- SpamSieve now requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later.

SpamSieve retails for US$30.00 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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

Apple announces June 10 – 14 dates for 2013 WWDC event, tickets available starting April 25th

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Date: Wednesday, April 24th, 2013, 06:33
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a spiffy developer event.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple on Wednesday officially announced that its 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place at Moscone West in San Francisco from Monday, June 10 until Friday, June 14th.

Tickets for the conference will go on sale at 10 AM Pacific / 1PM Eastern time tomorrow, April 25th.

The conference typically includes several sessions for iOS and OS X developers to work on their code and new projects alongside Apple engineers. Additionally, Apple engineers will make presentations about new developer-focused features in iOS and OS X.

Apple says that the conference will include details about the next iOS and OS X releases:

“We look forward to gathering at WWDC 2013 with the incredible community of iOS and OS X developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Our developers have had the most prolific and profitable year ever, and we’re excited to show them the latest advances in software technologies and developer tools to help them create innovative new apps. We can’t wait to get new versions of iOS and OS X into their hands at WWDC.”

Anticipation and speculation regarding Apple’s announcements at WWDC is high because the software-focused conference will follow a recent shakeup at the top of Apple’s software division. Scott Forstall, the former iOS chief, has been replaced with Craig Federighi, the former head of OS X.

Forstall has reportedly been a proponent of skeuopmorphic design while other Apple executives, such as Jonathan Ive, are fans of “flat” design characteristics for software. Ive was given control over interface design amidst Forstall’s leave from Apple, so many Apple followers are interested in what Ive has designed for the new Mac and iOS device operating systems.

iOS 7 has already been rumored to see notable design changes, and we have heard that OS X 10.9 will bring over more features from iOS.

WWDC 2012 focused on iOS 6, OS X Mountain Lion, and hardware such as significant updates to Apple’s Mac notebook computer lines. The previous year’s WWDC focused solely on major software enhancements with major upgrades to iOS, OS X, and the introduction of iCloud.

While new iOS device hardware has been announced at WWDC in some past years, Apple’s next iOS device updates are rumored for introduction later in the year: multiple claims have pointed to a new iPhone launching around August and new iPads in the September-October timeframe.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple begins incorporating “Download Later” for larger purchases in iTunes 11

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Date: Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013, 07:37
Category: iTunes, News, Software

This could be useful.

Per Macworld, Apple added a welcome tweak to large media purchases initiated either via the mobile iTunes Store or iTunes 11. Users attempting to download large media files such as movies or music box sets are presented a prompt enabling them to commence the download immediately or save it for a time when they presumably have better bandwidth.

When purchasing any of the above items using iTunes 11 on a Mac or Windows PC, or an iOS device running iOS 6 or later, you’re now presented with “Later” and “Download” (or “Download All”) buttons. Tap “Later” and the purchased items will be added to your iTunes account and accessible to stream or download in the future via Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud feature.

The option to “download later” is exclusively applicable to TV seasons, Season Passes, movie bundles, music box sets, individual movies and TV episodes.

Apple outlines the specifics of the new software tweak in the following updated support document. Lastly, note that the prompt will only appear for users in countries where Apple provides iTunes in the Cloud support.

If you’ve seen this change on your end and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Foxconn begins gearing up for iPhone 5S mass production

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Date: Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, 07:38
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

Don’t worry…your next-gen iPhone is en route.

Or at least being constructed.

Per iMore and the Wall Street Journal, Apple has been targeting an August time frame for the next-generation iPhone 5S, and while that may or may not include more recently rumored software scheduling issues, it does sound like the general time frame is still accurate enough for Foxconn to start ramping up for production. Lorraine Luk of the Wall Street Journal writes:

[Foxconn] said Monday it has added about 10,000 assembly-line workers per week in Zhengzhou, its major production facility for iPhones, since the last week of March.

“We have been very busy recently as we will start mass-producing the new iPhone soon,” said a Zhengzhou-based executive who has direct knowledge of production plans.

If Apple sticks to its 2009 and 2011 pattern of keeping the same casing two years in a row and releasing an S-class update, then presumably it’ll be an easier ramp up than last year where the manufacturing technology needed to produce the insanely redesigned iPhone 5 led to the usual transitional hiccups and supply constraints.

If that’s the case, then software and services, namely iOS 7, and iCloud could be the major factors in determining the final release window for Apple next iPhone.

To date, every new iPhone has shipped with a new version of iOS, and the iPhone 4S shipped with iCloud. That coupling makes for greater product impact, but also greater dependency.

Hopefully, if hardware is ramping up, that’s a sign everything else is also starting to line back up.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

After a decade in beta, Quicksilver 1.0.0 out the door

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013, 07:56
Category: News, Software

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10 years is a long time to be in beta.

For those of you who know it and love it, Quicksilver, the epic app-launching tool by Patrick Robertson, hit version 1.0.0 today. The new version, a 6.8 megabyte download, offers the following (extensive) list of fixes and changes:

What’s New:
- Preliminary support for retina displays (#1044, #1378).

- Many internal images have been upscaled.

- Icons and images are no longer downscaled in the interface.

- Assign the same trigger to different actions in different applications (#1201).

- Add files and folders to the catalog using the Add To Catalog action (#1276).

- AppleScript Action enhancements – http://qsapp.com/wiki/AppleScript_Actions (#1023, #1048).

- Assign an alternate name to something by creating a synonym (#1325).

- Plugin documentation is now accessible from the plugin’s preferences (#999, #1364).

- Plugin documentation is accessible directly from the list of plugins via a button in the bottom-right (#1364, #1384).

- Trigger type can be specified in the third pane for the Add Trigger action (#1345).

- Clipboard history will omit “transient” data (#1213).

- New localizations for Korean, Catalan, Chinese (Hant, China) and Spanish (Mexico).

Fixed:
- Names and labels for files should be determined faster and more accurately (#1263, #1288).

- Catalog entry names won’t override file names (#730, #1240).

- Docking window controls behave correctly (#1247).

- Recent Commands and the Last Command proxy are working (#722, #1207).

- Fixed the missing default application for the Open With… action (#1360, #1361).

- The Find With action (for web searches) works with Current Selection (#1311).

- Fixed the Add Trigger action (#515, #1345, #1390).

- Prevent changes to the catalog before it finishes loading (#1216).

- Fixed the “Delay” settings for triggers (#583, #914, #1201).

- Fixed the generic “Computer” icon (#1298).

- Avoid redrawing icons for files unnecessarily (#1297).

- Prevent catalog entries from disappearing in the preferences (#893, #1313).

- Prevent lock ups when scanning the catalog on startup (#1339).

- Correctly switch to text mode in the third pane when spacebar behavior is “Jump to Argument Field” (#1357).

- Text items in the third pane no longer show up as empty with details underneath (#1346).

- The count at the bottom of the results list is updated correctly (#1346).

- Only show folders when saving a command to a file (#1357).

- Change “plug-in” to “plugin” in the Setup Assistant (#1357).

- Only show catalog related actions with a single item selected (#1276).

- Internal improvements to the Assign Abbreviation… action (#1374).

- Set a default string ranker to prevent meaningless notifications (#1380).

- Prevent a crash when changing row height immediately after choosing a new interface (#1383).

- Fixed an exception when right-arrowing into applications with iCloud documents (#1396, #1398).

- Changed the process for displaying the Dock icon (#1152, #1414).

- More reliable file type detection (#1427, #1428, #1430).

- Internal optimizations, stability improvements, and fixes (#1335, #1346, #1385, #1390, #1401, #1371, #1403, #1388, #1410).

Changed:
- Simplify Services and set the “Command Window with Selection” trigger to use ⌘⎋ by default (#409, #1295, #1416, #1418).

- The Current Selection proxy object appears quicker (#1295).

- Better auto-detection of URLs in text entry mode (#1312, #1346, #1376).

- If files are omitted from the catalog, they will still be available when browsing the filesystem (#1195, #1322).

- Handlers preferences are grouped with other preferences for the core application (#1182, #1253).

- Disable settings for predefined catalog entries (#1341).

- Improved localization for Advanced Preferences (#1338).

- Release Notes have some style (#1228).

- Updated localizations.

Development:
- Developers don’t need to understand and track the relationship between name and label (#1263).

- Passing options to string rankers is more efficient (#1212).

- Support bundle version requirements for plug-ins (#1261).

- Allow actions to specify whether they want to see proxy objects, or only the resolved object (#1342, #1343).

- Removed some unused code related to Event Triggers (#1300).

- Better logging of exceptions in Debug mode (#1201, 1357).

Quicksilver is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried version 1.0.0 and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple adds two-step verification, other new features to iCloud security

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Date: Friday, March 22nd, 2013, 06:44
Category: News, security, Software

When in doubt, beef up the ol’ security system a bit…

On Thursday, Apple has rolled out a new two-step verification service for iCloud and Apple ID users. This functionality greatly enhances the security of Apple accounts because it requires users to use a trusted device and an extra security code.

Per 9to5Mac, the security code can be sent via SMS or via the Find my iPhone iOS app (if it is installed). Users can now setup two-step authentication on their devices via the Apple ID web site. Users need to access the security tab on this website to conduct the setup process.

During the setup process for two-step verification, users can choose which of their iOS devices they want to be “trusted.” This new service will allow only you to be able to reset your password.

Full details can be located at the Apple ID web site.

Evasi0n hack arrives, allows jailbreaking of iOS 6.1 devices

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Date: Tuesday, February 5th, 2013, 07:09
Category: Hack, iOS, News, Software

The perpetual arms race between Apple and the hacker community continues.

Per AppleInsider, hackers on Monday released a long-awaited untethered software “jailbreak” of Apple’s iOS 6.

For the first time ever, iPhone 5 and iPad mini owners can jailbreak their device with the release of Evasi0n, the new jailbreak for Apple’s iOS 6 mobile operating system. The software hack is available to implement via OS X, Windows, and Linux.

The new jailbreak is untethered, which means users will not have to reconnect their device to a computer to restart it. The hack is compatible with all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models running iOS 6.0 through iOS 6.1.

Users are advised to backup their device through iTunes or iCloud before beginning the jailbreak process. It’s also recommended to disable any passcode locks on an iOS device, as they can cause issues.

Jailbreaking is a legal but a warranty-voiding process that utilizes exploits in the iOS software to allow users to run unauthorized code. By jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad, users can add features and software not allowed by Apple, such as custom themes or user interface tweaks.

Apple advises against jailbreaking iOS devices, as the unauthorized modification could lead to system instability, compromised security, shortened battery life, and other potential issues.

If you’ve tried the Evasi0n hack and have any feedback to offer about it, please let us know in the comments.