Category: iOS

June 4, 2019 Off

With antitrust investigations looming, Apple reverses course on bans of parental control apps

By Jill T Frey

With congressional probes and greater scrutiny from federal regulators on the horizon, Apple has abruptly reversed course on its bans of parental control apps available in its app store.

As reported by The New York Times, Apple quietly updated its App Store guidelines to reverse its decision to ban certain parental control apps.

The battle between Apple and certain app developers dates back to last year when the iPhone maker first put companies on notice that it would cut their access to the app store if they didn’t make changes to their monitoring technologies.

The heart of the issue is the use of mobile device management (MDM) technologies in the parental control apps that Apple has removed from the App Store, Apple said in a statement earlier this year.

These device management tools give to a third party control … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

iOS 13 will let you limit app location access to ‘just once’

By Jill T Frey

Apple will soon let you grant apps access to your iPhone’s location just once.

Until now, there were three options — “always,” “never,” or “while using,” meaning an app could be collecting your real-time location as you’re using it.

Apple said the “just once” location access is a small change — granted — but one that’s likely to appeal to the more privacy-minded folk.

“For the first time, you can share your location to an app — just once — and then require it to ask you again next time at wants,” said Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi at its annual developer conference on Monday.

That’s going to be helpful for those who download an app that requires your immediate location, but you don’t want to give it persistent or ongoing access to your whereabouts.

On top of that, Apple said that the apps that you do grant location … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Apple announces iOS 13 with dark mode, updated Apple apps and privacy features

By Jill T Frey

Apple shared some of the new features that you’ll get with the release of iOS 13 this fall. There are a ton of small and big feature updates and it felt like Apple executives were rushing through the presentation because there are so many things to announce.

“iOS 13 is a huge release packed with lot of capabilities,” VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said. But Federighi immediately started with performance improvements.

For instance, Face ID is 30 percent faster. Downloads and updates on the App Store are a lot smaller. Updates are 60 percent smaller on average because your iPhone won’t download the full app every time you get an update. And apps should launch twice as fast.

Dark mode and low level improvements

Many apps have already adopted dark mode. But Apple is adding system-wide dark mode for iOS 13. With a simple button in Control Center, you’ll … Read the rest

June 1, 2019 Off

Apple bumps the App Store cell connection download cap up to 200 MB

By Jill T Frey

Good news: Apple now allows you to download bigger apps over a cellular connection than it used to.

Bad news: there’s still a cap, and you still can’t bypass it.

As noticed by 9to5Mac, the iOS App Store now lets you download apps up to 200 MB in size while on a cell network; anything bigger than that, and you’ll need to connect to WiFi. Before this change, the cap was 150 MB.

And if you’ve got an unlimited (be it actually unlimited or cough-cough-‘unlimited’) plan, or if you know you’ve got enough monthly data left to cover a big download, or you just really, really need a certain big app and WiFi just isn’t available? You’re still out of luck. That 200 MB cap hits everyone. People have found tricky, fleeting workarounds to bypass the cap over the years, but there’s no official “Yeah, yeah, the app is … Read the rest

May 30, 2019 Off

What to expect from Apple’s WWDC 2019

By Jill T Frey

Last year’s WWDC was a rare step away from hardware for the company, without a single device announcement. In fact, Apple’s gadget lines have largely been the subject of quiet releases over the past year. Ahead of the big Apple TV unveil, the company issued several press releases highlighting minor updates to flagship lines.

Just last week, it did the same for the MacBook, with a quiet announcement around the latest attempt to resolve longstanding issues with the malfunctioning keyboards. Next week’s developer show, on the other hand, is shaping up to be something altogether different. All signs point to a load of big announcements, including, potentially, some Pro hardware.

After a fairly slow I/O and Build, Apple could really make a splash here. The company’s not immune from larger industry trends, and is at a kind of crossroads at the moment. Its last financial call highlighted a shifting … Read the rest

May 28, 2019 Off

Leaked screenshots confirm dark mode is coming to iOS 13

By Jill T Frey

9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo managed to obtain screenshots of iOS 13. While it still looks like iOS, there’s a twist — there will be a system-wide dark mode to make your apps look better at night. Apple is expected to announce the new version of iOS at its WWDC keynote on Monday.

With iOS 13, users can enable dark mode in the Settings app or with a toggle in Control Center — you may have to add the Control Center button in the Settings app first.

And here’s what it’ll look like according to 9to5Mac’s screenshots:

As you can see, the home screen doesn’t change much, except the dock at the bottom. But the Music app looks completely different with white text on top of a black background. The tab bar at the bottom also switches from transparent white to transparent black. Apple still uses red for buttons and links, … Read the rest

May 28, 2019 Off

Apple announces a new… iPod touch

By Jill T Frey

Apple is updating the iPod touch with an A10 Fusion system-on-a-chip. Other than that, it looks pretty much like the old iPod touch with a 4-inch display, a classic home button and many different color options.

The A10 Fusion chip was first introduced with the iPhone 7. In other words, the new iPod touch performs more or less just like an iPhone 7. Just like the previous version of the iPod touch, it supports iOS 12. But you can now launch ARKit apps and start group FaceTime conversations — the A8 wasn’t powerful enough for those features.

This is a surprising move as the iPod touch hasn’t been updated since 2015. Many people believed that Apple would focus on the iPhone as there’s less demand for a smartphone without cellular capabilities. The device doesn’t support Touch ID or Face ID, so you’ll have to use a good old passcode. But … Read the rest

May 16, 2019 Off

Apple & Google celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day with featured apps, new shortcuts

By Jill T Frey

With last fall’s release of iOS 12, Apple introduced Siri Shortcuts — a new app that allows iPhone users to create their own voice commands to take actions on their phone and in apps. Today, Apple is celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) by rolling out a practical, accessibility focused collection of new Siri Shortcuts, alongside accessibility focused App Store features and collections.

Google is doing something similar for Android users on Google Play.

For starters, Apple’s new Siri shortcuts are available today in a featured collection at the top of the Shortcuts app. The collection includes a variety of shortcuts aimed at helping users more quickly perform everyday tasks.

For example, there’s a new “Help Message” shortcut that will send your location to an emergency contact, a “Meeting Someone New” shortcut designed to speed up non-verbal introductions and communication, a mood journal for recording thoughts and feelings, a pain … Read the rest

May 10, 2019 Off

Apple CEO Tim Cook talks WWDC student program, coding initiatives and SAP

By Jill T Frey

For the past few years, Apple has been inviting student developers to attend its WWDC conference, which centers on development topics and software. A few students from this year’s batch are getting some more personal attention from Apple as it tries to raise awareness of the program and coding literacy via its Swift Playgrounds and other resources for students and teachers.

Most of those students, though, won’t get a surprise personal visit from CEO Tim Cook, which is what happened this week when Lyman High School student Liam Rosenfeld got to the Millenia Mall Apple Store in Orlando, Fla. Liam was there to participate, he thought, in an interview with myself and a local journalist from the Orlando Sentinel about his admission to the program.

As a surprise, and fresh off an appearance at the SAP Sapphire conference to announce an expanded partnership, Cook came to visit the store to … Read the rest

April 30, 2019 Off

Developers can now verify mobile app users over WhatsApp instead of SMS

By Jill T Frey

Facebook today released a new SDK that allows mobile app developers to integrate WhatsApp verification into Account Kit for iOS and Android. This will allow developers to build apps where users can opt to receive their verification codes through the WhatsApp app installed on their phone instead of through SMS.

Today, many apps give users the ability to sign up using only a phone number — a now popular alternative to Facebook Login, thanks to the social network’s numerous privacy scandals that led to fewer people choosing to use Facebook with third-party apps.

Plus, using phone numbers to sign up is common with a younger generation of users who don’t have Facebook accounts — and sometimes barely use email, except for joining apps and services.

When using a phone number to sign in, it’s common for the app to confirm the user by sending a verification code over … Read the rest