Google is rumored to be working on a smartphone of its own that would help it "tighten its grip on mobile software and see it compete directly with the iPhone", according to a report from The Telegraph. The information comes from the usual "sources familiar with the discussions", who are all too often making the news because some fellow writers have no filters whatsoever.
To folks completely unfamiliar with the mobile space this report would make sense. It has all the right ingredients for that, but fortunately using just a small dose of common sense one can immediately call this report for what it is -- rubbish. Here's why.
Each new version of iOS is eagerly awaited, and at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) Apple unveiled a preview of iOS 10. Much has been made of the new features, but developers probing the operating system are making a surprising discovery. The kernel of iOS 10 is unencrypted.
In the current climate of security-awareness, this might seem like something of an unusual decision. But Apple says that the change has been made to improve performance, and it could even help to increase security.
Following a court ruling that it was involved in ebook price-fixing with five publishers, Apple has started the process of paying back $400m in refunds. Despite agreeing to pay out the thick end of half a billion dollars, Apple denies doing anything wrong.
Interestingly, the payouts will not necessarily reach customers direct from Apple. Refunds are being issued through four ebook stores -- iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo -- and Amazon customers (Kindle users) should be getting their credit today. If you're in line for a refund, you should have received an email informing you, but in case this made its way to your spam folder, you can manually check to see if you've benefitted.
This year, Google I/O and WWDC seemed to lack the excitement seen in years past with most announcements being fairly mundane -- a combination of maintenance/incremental updates and "me-too" products -- inevitable at this point in the maturity cycle. The most interesting part of these developer events was really the contrasting approaches Google and Apple have taken to evolve the app ecosystem. Unsurprisingly, both approaches are diametrically opposed to each other and favor each company's business model.
However, the "winning standard" will necessarily be one that better serves the needs of both consumers and developers.
With the unstoppable growth of chat apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and the like, emoji have become an incredible phenomenon. The Unicode Consortium is due to publish the Unicode 9.0 spec tomorrow, and it seems that objections from Apple and Microsoft means we're not going to see a rifle emoji included.
The intervention is slightly surprising, yet not entirely unexpected. With the large number of high-profile mass-shootings such as in Orlando, debate about guns has come to the fore once again and the censorship of emoji is perhaps not completely unexpected. But at the same time, there is already a pistol emoji and there are not -- yet -- calls for it to be removed.
When you are constantly on the go -- and who isn't, nowadays? -- your smartphone becomes an indispensable tool. With all of this phone usage, you will probably need to charge the device a lot. This means having a charger and cable ready in your car, bag, or pocket.
The problem? These cables tend to take a lot of abuse and can become damaged over time. Quality cables -- especially MFI certified Apple Lightning variants -- are expensive, and buying replacements can become costly. A new cable -- the ZUS Kevlar Charging Cable by nonda -- is both affordable and built to last. It is available in Type-A to Type-C, micro USB, or Apple Lightning. I have been using the Lightning variant for a couple weeks now, an I am ready to share my impressions.
If you're in the market for an Apple Watch but you've been put off by the price, Best Buy might just have a deal that will tempt you to part with your cash. How low would the price have to be to convince you? How does $49 sound?
There is, of course, something of a catch. It's certainly not the case that anyone who wants an Apple Watch could walk into Best Buy, hand over 49 notes and walk about with an Apple Wearable; there's a little more to it than that.
Flash -- despite the best efforts of many -- is not quite dead. It continues to hang around like a festering scab, just waiting to be cast off forever. With macOS Sierra, Apple is playing its part in consigning Flash to the history books, pushing HTML5 to the fore.
Following in the footsteps of Google Chrome, starting with Sierra, Apple's Safari will ignore Flash even if the legacy plugin is installed. HTML5 will be favored for each and every site -- a marked difference from Chrome which maintains a list of exceptions (such as YouTube) which could still make use of Flash.
Apple has announced that the deadline by which app developers must enable App Transport Security (ATS) in all apps is 1 January 2017. ATS is not a new feature of iOS 10, having been introduced in iOS 9 and it increases the security of data transferred over the web by apps.
With ATS enabled, apps are forced to use the far more secure HTTPS rather than HTTP, and this is something we've become accustomed to looking out for when browsing the web. At the moment, developers are able to disable ATS, but from the end of the year this will no longer be possible.
Apple's annual developer conference is underway in San Francisco. Yesterday's opening keynote was the best since before cofounder Steve Jobs' death nearly 5 years ago. While pundits poo-poo what's missing (shiny gadgets), new and improved software and services matter more—and they showcase priorities properly placed.
CEO Tim Cook kicked off the event, by asking attendees to stand and offer a moment of silence for the mass murder victims the previous day in Orlando, Fla. Forty-nine people are confirmed dead and as many hospitalized from the nightclub shooting. He then went on to lay out a clear agenda for the keynote and the conference—four platforms: iOS 10, macOS "Sierra" (formerly OS X), tvOS 10, and watchOS 3.
When Apple announced iOS 10 yesterday, there was one question that people around the world were asking themselves: will my device run it? The company sent out rather confusing signals yesterday in answer to this question.
Slides shown during the announcement presentation revealed the iPads, iPhones and iPods that will be able to upgrade to iOS 10. But the official iOS 10 preview page told a different story. Devices that were previously absent from the support list -- such as 3rd generation iPad -- were suddenly listed as supporting iOS 10. Now Apple has changed its mind again, and updated the list once more.
Apple was quite boisterous at WWDC today regarding its operating systems and services. Quite frankly, I was blown away at all the ways the company is looking to improve its customers' lives, but some folks were apparently underwhelmed. Oh well, you can't please everyone, I suppose.
For some reason, Apple was fairly quiet about one huge change -- it is replacing the HFS+ file system. Based on the more-than-30-year-old HFS, it is apparently time to move on. What is the upcoming file system called? The unimaginatively "Apple File System". The encryption-ready file system will be used on macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
It’s something that many iPhone and iPad owners have asked: just how the hell do I delete the pointless Stocks app? With iOS 10 there's no need to go as far as jailbreaking your beloved device, as Apple is making it possible to delete no fewer than 23 of the built-in apps.
That useless Stocks app? Gone! The News app you never use? History! There are many reasons for wanting to banish these apps. Apart from not using them, you might want to free up screen space by getting rid of unnecessary icons. You might feel you can free up a bunch of storage space -- but Apple insists that "the apps built into iOS are designed to be very space efficient, so all of them together use less than 150MB". Whatever. The point is: you can now delete them!
With Apple's software announcements today, the focus has been on what is new and exciting. But with (just about) any operating system update, there is a darker side: the older devices that slip into oblivion, never to be updated again.
It's no different with iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. On the mobile front, Apple is giving up on the A5 chip, meaning that a number of iPhones and iPads are not going to support the latest version of iOS. It’s a similar story for Mac and MacBook owners -- older devices simply aren’t going to get the goodies.
If you are wanting a desktop operating system, you largely have two options -- Windows or OS X. To a lesser extent, consumers can opt for Linux-based operating systems, such as Chrome OS or Ubuntu, but Apple and Microsoft's offerings reign supreme. While OS X is arguably more elegant than Windows, it only comes installed on Apple's expensive hardware. Microsoft's OS is the best option for those on a budget.
One thing that was not elegant about OS X, however, was the name. It was not in line with the company's other operating systems -- iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Not to mention, the 15 year old "X" branding was getting a bit long in the tooth. Today, Apple renames it to macOS, while also designating a new code name to the upcoming version -- Sierra. It looks to be the best Mac operating system ever.