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.
It's what Apple is describing as 'the biggest iOS release ever'. Whether everyone else agrees remains to be seen, but today the company took the wraps off iOS 10 -- and there's certainly a lot to take in. Perhaps the most notable change, for developers at least, is the fact that Siri has been opened up so that it can be used by third party apps.
Messaging has become more important than ever in recent years, and this is something that Apple recognizes with iOS 10. Taking design cues from the likes of Facebook and WhatsApp, the Messages app now includes full screen animations, and there's a neat new feature that means you can handwrite messages.
Not content with forcing people into using its Messenger app, Facebook is continuing its aggressive tactics and driving users to install its photo-sharing app, Moments. The social network has warned users that their photos face deletion if they fail to use the Moments app.
Unsurprisingly, this has led to a huge surge in interest in the app, pushing it to the top of the download charts. Facebook has announced that it is going to delete Synced Albums and Synced Photos if Moments is not installed by July 7, sending warning emails to a number of users.
If you like taking Live Photos with your iPhone then you probably want to share those moments with other folks. One of the best ways that you can do that is by converting your Live Photos to GIFs, so that everyone can enjoy them even if they do not have an iOS device or Mac.
By now there are loads of apps that let you do that, but Google believes that there is room for one more. So, its Research arm has introduced Motion Stills, which has a neat little trick up its sleeve.
If you access Facebook on your phone, the chances are that you use the dedicated Facebook app -- but this is not necessarily the case. A lot of people prefer to make use of the mobile Facebook website, and the social network is making an aggressive change to the way messaging works that will force the use of the Messenger app.
Head to the messaging section of the mobile site today, and you'll be greeted by a large pre-emptive warning that reads: "Your conversations are moving to Messenger. Soon, you'll only be able to view your messages from Messenger". For now, you can continue to send messages through Facebook's mobile site, but this will end at some unknown date in the future. It's an aggressive tactic reminiscent of Microsoft's forcing of Windows 10 onto users.
Tech companies are falling over themselves to embrace diversity both in the workplace, and in products. The latest example of this comes courtesy of Facebook which today releases an update to Messenger complete with hundreds of diversity-friendly emoji.
As well as bringing in the full (well, fuller) gamut of skin tones, the new emoji also nod to gender equality, as well as including redheads for the first time. On top of all this, Facebook is also standardizing its emoji set so the same selection is available to everyone, regardless of the platform they might be using.
Occasionally in the past I’ve tried to zoom further into a photo on my phone than is allowed by iOS. It’s usually to try and read some text, or identify a particular object in the background.
I’ve often wished there was a way to go beyond the fixed zoom set in the Photos app, and it turns out there is. It’s not a feature, but rather a bug that gives you the ability to zoom into infinity (and beyond!), but it works well and it's easy to do.
Global smartphone sales figures published by Gartner show that Windows-based devices have a market share of just 0.7 percent. The latest figures cover the first quarter of 2016 and reveal that fewer than 2.4 million handsets with Microsoft's OS installed were sold.
This is a dramatic drop from the first quarter of 2015. A year ago the numbers were hardly earth-shattering, but with a 2.5 percent market share they were decidedly healthier than right now. While Windows Phone continues to drop like a stone, Android's seemingly unstoppable rise continues, with Google increasing its market share from 78.88 percent a year ago to 84.1 percent in Q1 2016. Apple suffered a drop to 14.8 percent.
Google launches Spaces for sharing links, YouTube videos, images and more with small groups [UPDATE: It's live!]
Google is introducing a new way to share content with a group. Spaces is a collaborative tool that Google wants people to use to share everything from articles and images to YouTube videos and messages.
So keen is Google for a huge take up of Spaces, that the service is launching in mobile and desktop web versions, as well as iOS and Android apps. It's billed as an alternative to group conversations, and Google wants to help streamline sharing by eliminating app switching -- this is achieved by integrating Google Search, YouTube, and Chrome into a single tool.
Facebook has rolled out its photo-sharing app Moments around the world, and users in Europe have been treated to a modified version. Specifically, the European version of the app lacks the facial recognition feature that allows for automatic tagging of people.
In many ways, Facebook has been forced to release a degraded version of Moments to its EU audience because of the varying privacy laws that exist in different countries. The hobbled app will not attempt to identify individuals in photos, but will group together images that "appear to include the same face".
People have become increasingly reliant on smartphones and as a result they have become less tolerant of poor performance and device problems.
Blancco Technology Group has released a report based on the latest results from its SmartChk diagnostic platform, showing higher failure rates in Android devices than in iOS ones, and revealing some interesting trends.
When it comes to business devices, employees can often have a big impact on decision-making. In other words, they can influence IT and executives by expressing a desire for the same type of device they use at home. When Blackberry devices, for instance, fell out of favor with home users, they soon lost their luster in the enterprise too.
iPhone and iPad devices are wildly popular in the enterprise, but not only because employees love them. They are also very secure, thanks to things like touch ID and regular operating system updates. Apple has even partnered with world-class companies, such as IBM, which bolstered the positive perception for iOS. Today, Tim Cook and company announce yet another monumental partnership, this time with SAP.
It seems that size really does matter -- at least when it comes to the size of the screen on your smartphone. New research shows that people spend more time in apps if they have a larger screen.
The study from mobile engagement platform Localytics shows that 5-inch devices show 23 percent more app engagement than smaller screens. They also show 3.53 percent higher average session length than 4-inch screens.