Eero firmware update hints at forthcoming HomeKit functionality

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Date: Tuesday, January 28th, 2020, 03:53
Category: Apple, Apps, Developer, HomeKit, News, privacy, security, Software, wireless

If you’re using an Eero router, you’ll like this.

Following Apple’s announcement at WWDC 2019 that HomeKit would be supported by routers from Eero, Linksys, and Charter Spectrum, Eero on Monday, Eero today released an update for its Eero and Eero Pro routers, bringing them to version 3.18. The release notes for the update are relatively unexciting, highlighting “improvements to client data accuracy” and “system stability improvements.”

The update also apparently appears to feature preliminary HomeKit support.

Following an update to the latest firmware, the Eero and Eero Pro appear in the Home app as accessories that can be added. Unfortunately, since there’s no valid HomeKit setup code at present, the Home app present an error and states that the Eero routers can’t be added to HomeKit, warning that the Eero routers are still “uncertified” at this point.

Under version 3.17 of the Eero firmware, the Eero routers were invisible to the Home app as nearby accessories. Version 3.18 seems to indicate that progress is being made towards this end.

Apple says HomeKit-enabled routers will offer security benefits, such as the ability to firewall off accessories, preventing them from accessing your entire network. “Enhance security by monitoring the network activity of your Home accessories and preventing unsafe connections,” Apple says.

The Apple website currently lists the Eero, Eero Pro, and Linksys Velop as the three routers slated to add HomeKit support in the future.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via 9to5Mac and Adam Marka

Apple launches native export support for Apple Card transactions

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Date: Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020, 03:00
Category: Apple, Apple Card, Apps, Business, Finance, iOS, News

This could come in handy.

Apple on Tuesday added a new option for Apple Card users to export their monthly statements in spreadsheet form. This, in turn, allows your Apple Card data to be imported into your budgeting app of choice.

Previously, Apple only made Apple Card statements available via PDF, but this new spreadsheet option is much more versatile for users.

The data can be exported via the following steps:

1. Go to the Wallet app on your iPhone

2. Choose Apple Card

3. Tap “Card balance”

4. Pick a monthly statement and tap the “Export Transactions” button

At present, there are still limitations. Users can presently only export based on monthly statements, they can’t export combined transactions from multiple months or partial monthly transactions. You’ll also manually need to import the data to your money management software. Finally, Apple still won’t allow third-party services to automatically pull the data from their Apple Card accounts.

Still, this is a step in the right direction, and allows you to get your data where it needs to be and work it from there.

Stay tuned for additional details from there.

Via 9to5Mac and Fast Company

Apple celebrates more than a decade of Services, states more are on the horizon

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Date: Thursday, January 9th, 2020, 03:11
Category: App Store, Apple, Apple Card, Apple Music, Apps, iCloud, Mobile, News, Services

Good products will get your foot in the door.

It’s the services that make you money.

Apple has announced the close of a decade of services, complete with a 2019 that included the launch of Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Podcasts, Apple News+, and Apple Card.

The company also cited the continued success of the App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud.

“2019 was the biggest year for Services in Apple’s history. We introduced several exciting new experiences for our customers, all while setting the standard for user privacy and security,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We begin the new decade with incredible momentum and gratitude to our customers who have shown such enthusiasm for all of our Services, and we continue to celebrate the work of the world’s best creators, storytellers, journalists and developers.”

Key to this has been the App Store, which launched in 2008, has provided developers with over $155 billion in earnings, a quarter of which were from 2019.

Check out the link below for the full details.

Via Apple

Apple Maps data updated, includes full coverage of the United States, improvements in Central and Southeastern U.S. data

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Date: Monday, December 30th, 2019, 03:36
Category: Apple, Apps, Google, iOS, iPhone, Mac, News, Software

Apple has followed through on a promise the company made at WWDC, and has now rolled out improved Apple Maps data for the entirety of the United States.

The upgrade was spotted by Nate Thompson on Twitter, and Apple Maps has begun rolling out updated coverage data to the U.S. Central and Southeast. The upgraded data includes greater detail to roads, bike paths, footpaths, parking lots, buildings, parks, pools, and bodies of water.

Apple Maps underwent a midwest update that took place in October, with the southeast update appearing to roll out at different times across different platforms.

This concludes Apple’s rollout of the enhanced Maps data. Apple had promised the entirety of the US would get the data by the end of 2019.

Apple was recently noted to have spent “billions” on revamping Apple Maps following its lackluster launch in 2012. The information was released as part of Apple’s ongoing antitrust probe, though an exact amount of money spent was never stated.

Other new changes for Apple Maps, along with the advent of iOS 13, include the additional of “Look Around,” which serves as Apple’s version of Google’s Street View, to iOS devices.

If you’ve had a chance to try the updated Apple Maps data, please let us know about your experience in the comments.

Via AppleInsider and @NateThompson

Apple could be working to transition to ARM-based products, beginning with an ARM-based MacBook Air in 2020

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Date: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019, 03:34
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, Developer, Intel, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPhone, Mac, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Processors, Software, WWDC

It’s currently a theory, but there’s a good chance it could come true.

Every year, Apple has improved its ARM processor architecture, albeit there’s never been any concrete evidence that the company is looking to ditch Intel and AMD for good.

Still, the change may be occurring as we speak, and a nifty piece over at Digital Trends explains how Apple seems to be setting things up so that the right app support is in place when an ARM switch does occur. Case in point, the Mac Catalyst project is Apple’s project to let developers port iPad apps over to the Mac, first announced as part of MacOS Catalyst. Right now, Apple is actively courting developers to port their iPad apps across to the Mac with its dead-simple new process. The rumors suggest that iPhone apps are next, with the eventual goal that any app will work on any Apple platform.

With Catalyst, the ARM MacBook could launch with a huge catalogue of apps available right in the Mac App Store.

The Catalyst effort could fit into a much larger strategy, and instead of just being a limited-run effort to improve cross-platform apps, could transition the MacBook’s architecture to create an ARM-based Mac. Should this effort work, an enormous catalog of Mac apps would be available for use in the Mac App Store. This also comes at a time when Apple has already ditched its most popular native desktop app, iTunes, only to replace it with three separate Catalyst apps.

Beyond Catalyst, Apple is even building new app solutions with this cross-platform strategy in mind. For example, take Apple Arcade, the company’s new games subscription service. One of the key features of the service is that all of its 100+ games will run on almost any Apple device, including your iPhone, your iPad, your Mac, and even your Apple TV.

This, combined with Mac Catalyst functioning on the same principle, seems to indicate that Apple may be developing a unified Apple app ecosystem that can run of a shared ARM architecture.

The article also speculates that Apple could bring about a MacBook Air running on an ARM processor. This unit would also be able to run a hefty selection of Catalyst apps from the Mac App Sore, and it’s speculated that Apple could announce this transition at WWDC in June 2020.

Key to this is the idea that Apple could use Mac Catalyst to make porting applications that much easier for developers. Apple has previously stated that Mac Catalyst means devs merely have to tick a checkbox while coding their app and the fundamental features of a Mac app — cursor control, Dock support, inability to play the latest games (maybe not that last one) — will be automatically built in. It’s a massive quality of life boost to the dev community.

Thus, the current prediction is that Apple could start with lower-end MacBooks at WWDC 2020. And while meaty new hardware like the Mac Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro are about to launch or have just launched and use Intel’s high-end Core i9 chips, Apple will still have to work to have its ARM processors catch up to this level of performance.

It’s a similar situation with applications. From Logic and Final Cut to Premiere and Lightroom, these are content creation tools that professionals rely on. Simple Catalyst apps as replacement won’t cut it. While it seems evident that Apple will eventually move its entire line over to ARM, this comprehensive solution may not come as soon as 2020.

Either way, the initial steps have been taken and Apple seems to have taken the first steps towards an ARM-based processor architecture for its products in the future.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Digital Trends

Thrifter Deals, Flipp apps offer quick savings for the Black Friday through Cyber Monday shopping period

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Date: Sunday, December 1st, 2019, 06:08
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, Deals, iOS, iPad, MacBook, News, retail

The savings are out there, you just need to know where to look for them.

As demonstrated by the mighty Jason O’Grady, the Thrifter Deals and Flipp apps are offering some pretty good deals on Mac and iOS-based goodies. Over on Thrifter Deals, 128GB 10.2-inch iPads from 2019 are being offered at $329, as opposed to their normal $429 price point, MacBook Airs start at $899, and MacBook Air notebooks from 2017 begin at $799.

With Flipp, the site works as an aggregator for coupons and deals being offered by retailers. Flipp is also available as a free iOS app and requires iOS 10.0 or later to install and run.

Check out the links below and if you find any good deals on your end, please let us know about them in the comments.

Via Thrifter Deals and Flipp

Apple to revamp software testing practices following iOS 13 launch

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Date: Friday, November 22nd, 2019, 03:06
Category: Apple, Apps, Developer, iOS, iPadOS, iPhone, Mac, macOS, News, Software, TvOS, watchOS, WWDC

It looks like Apple will revamp the way it tests future versions of iOS.

Following the release of iOS 13, as well as its first few buggy versions, Apple is reportedlychanging the way it develops internal builds of operating systems. This is important, as iOS 14 is already underway using the new approach.

Per Bloomberg, Apple engineers would ‘cram’ features into daily builds of iOS versions before they were fully tested. This meant that using test devices on these internal versions became a nightmare, with the system running so many different branches of components at different levels of stability.

As such, it became nigh-impossible for Apple to note the actual state of its software.

With iOS 14, the new plan is that all work-in-progress features for OS builds are disabled by default and have to be enabled using a special configuration menu. This approach should allow Apple to keep better tabs as to the progress of its operating system, as well as allow the software to be more flexible. In short, features that are not yet ready to ship can be easily removed.

The revamped approach will also apply to iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS development. Apple is expected to use iOS 14 to offer a feature-packed release, but is also rumored to be ready to delay some features to iOS 15 if need be.

It was also noted that Apple apparently noticed that its testing was not up to snuff ahead of the June Worldwide Developers Conference event:

By August, realizing that the initial iOS 13.0 set to ship with new iPhones a few weeks later wouldn’t hit quality standards, Apple engineers decided to mostly abandon that work and focus on improving iOS 13.1, the first update. Apple privately considered iOS 13.1 the “actual public release” with a quality level matching iOS 12. The company expected only die-hard Apple fans to load iOS 13.0 onto their phones.

Read the full report over at Bloomberg.

Via 9to5Mac and Bloomberg

Apple changes WWDC app name to “Apple Developer,” offers year-round content

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Date: Tuesday, November 19th, 2019, 03:47
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, Developer, iOS, iPhone, Mac, News, Software, WWDC

For the developer world, Apple on Monday announced that it’s updating its “WWDC” app, changing its name to “Apple Developer” and announcing year-round updates.

Apple says that the new Apple Developer app will provide “in-depth information from Apple experts all year round,” with the app featuring developer news, videos, WWDC content, and more. 

The app can be used to enroll in the Apple Developer program on iOS devices, although this functionality is currently limited to the United States. Users can also auto-renew their subscriptions to more easily keep their developer accounts active.

The Apple Developer app is available for free and requires iOS 12.4 or later to install and run.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via MacRumors and the App Store

Adobe releases Photoshop for iPad

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Date: Friday, November 8th, 2019, 02:46
Category: Apple, Apple Pencil, Apps, iOS, iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro, iPhone, News, Software

After more than a year since Adobe previewed a version of Photoshop for the iPad at its Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles, the company has released the app on the App Store.

The company offered the following comments about the editing suite:

“This first iteration of Photoshop on iPad, launching today, is focused on core compositing and basic retouching and masking work. It lets you open and edit full PSD files on the go and finish up the project in the desktop version of Photoshop if you’d like.”

As described, Photoshop on iPad does not function as a full-featured version of Photoshop intended to replace your desktop version. Instead, this allows users to open and edit PSD files, view and edit layers, and use many of the same tools as offered in the desktop version.

Photoshop for iPad is available as a free download, but is unlocked and activated via an Adobe cloud subscription. The software supports that Apple Pencil, and supports the iPad Air 2 on, the iPad mini 4 on, the 5th-gen iPad on, and all iPad Pro models and requires iOS 13.1 or later to install and run.

If you’ve had a chance to try Photoshop for iPad and have any feedback to offer, please let us know about your experience in the comments.

Via iDownloadBlog and the App Store

Microsoft planning significant Outlook for Mac overhaul with focus on user interface, syncing improvements

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Date: Wednesday, November 6th, 2019, 02:49
Category: Apple, Apps, Mac, Microsoft, News, Office, Software

In addition to Microsoft overhauling its iOS apps and essentially consolidating them into one centralized Office app, it looks like the company is planning some hefty changes to Outlook for Mac over the next few weeks.

It’s been reported that the new version of Outlook will feature significant performance improvements as well as enhancements to syncing.

The goal of this update to Outlook for Mac is seemingly to bring the Mac app in line with what’s already available on the web and on iOS. There are new single line views for reading and writing emails, as well as a new mail compose UI and support for ignoring emails.

Other interface changes will include collapsible panels, being able to adjust the main view, a new “My Day” day calendar alongside the main email screen, and an improved search bar with Microsoft Search integration.

Outlook for Mac is also revamping the iconic ribbon along the top. In a statement, Microsoft said that the new ribbon is “fully customizable” by users:

Other new changes will include changes to syncing that should improve performance with all email accounts, including Gmail. The interface tweaks bring added customization options, a look at your calendar, and more.

The revamped Office will roll out to beta testers this week.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via 9to5Mac and The Verge