Articles about iOS

Facebook for iOS supports drafting posts offline, preview before sending

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Facebook has unveiled a landmark release of its iPad and iPhone app with the release of Facebook for iOS 10.0. Despite the major version number change, however, new features are thin on the ground.

There are basically two major changes to speak off: support for drafting posts while offline, and the ability to now review posts before they’re sent. The update arrives as Facebook starts testing a new card-based feature similar to Google Now.

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Latest iPhone lock screen bypass uses Siri to gain access to Contacts

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Apple iPhone owners have a new lock screen bypass to combat after a security researcher discovered a flaw in the newest version of iOS.

It’s reported that the latest exploit, which is inside iOS 7.1.1, allows someone to reach the iPhone’s Contacts screen without unlocking the device and works across all iPhones that have the Siri personal assistant.

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Griffin releases Wired Keyboard for iOS Devices -- wireless is so passé

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It seems that lately, consumers prefer wireless for everything. Sure, wires may look old-school, but I like them. My wired keyboards and mice never run out of juice or have connectivity issues. As great as WiFi is, whenever possible, I try to use ethernet cable too. Despite what some recent DirecTV commercials say, wires are not ugly!

When I use my iPad for creation, I typically use a Bluetooth keyboard with great results. However, the battery on it must be charged, and most of them utilize microUSB. And so, I must remember to pack an extra cable when traveling just in case. Today, accessory-giant Griffin releases the Wired Keyboard for iOS Devices and I am intrigued. Yes, you actually plug a wire into an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

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Share your life with a total stranger

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Anyone who has ever wanted to know more about the lives of others is in the luck as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed an iPhone app that pairs strangers together for a period of a little under three weeks.

20 Day Stranger, which has been engineered by MIT’s Media Lab, works by pairing up two complete strangers and then sharing random information to each person for a period of 20 days, and the best part is you’ll never have to know the identity of the person on the other end.

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Battery life is the main reason why you buy a certain smartphone, says IDC

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I have long gotten used to the idea that the battery life of a smartphone will never match that of an old phone, so it is not high on my priorities list when I decide which smartphone I should buy next. Considering the advantages, this trade-off is something I can live with. Granted, our preferences may differ, but other traits like design, responsiveness, or camera are of a greater importance to me, and other people I know as well.

So I find it strange when an IDC survey, namely ConsumerScape 360, finds that battery life is the main reason why people buy a certain Android, iOS or Windows Phone smartphone, more so than operating system, screen size, brand or camera resolution. To quote my colleague Wayne Williams, "That seems very unlikely. No one shops for a phone because of battery life. No one".

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Twitter for iOS adds mute button, multiple iPad improvements

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Twitter has rolled out a new version of its iPhone and iPad app with the release of Twitter 6.5. Its headline new feature is support for the "mute" feature that allows selected users to be hidden from the user’s timeline.

Version 6.5 also implements a number of improvements to the iPad version that had previously been rolled out to the iPhone build. These include selected content previews in the user’s timeline and the ability to choose filters for photos.

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Twitter's mute function lets you silence talkative tweeters

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It is said that Twitter is the social network for those who suffer from verbal diarrhoea, and it's certainly true that you have to be slightly selective about who you follow if you are to avoid drowning in an avalanche of overwhelming drivel. But even if you do pick and choose who appears in your timeline very carefully, there may be times when you want certain people to just shut up. You could stop following them, or even go as far as blocking them, but this might be seen as taking things a little too far. Twitter's new mute function could be the solution to the problem you didn’t know you had.

Announced in a post on the Twitter blog, Product Manager Paul Rosania says the feature is being rolled out to not only the web version of Twitter, but also the official iOS and Android apps. In many ways, muting is a watered down version of blocking a user and it could prove useful in certain circumstances. You may have some friend who is watching a show you've yet to catch up with. To help avoid spoilers, you could mute their tweets until you're up to date; the same idea rings true for sporting results, and other big announcements.

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Best iOS apps this week

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Eighteenth in a series. New and updated releases this week include a Vine-style video sharing app with filters, an animated story creator from Adobe, new games set in the Warhammer 40k and Soulcalibur worlds, a social network for dog owners, a fitness app that promises to "lift your butt" and an endless runner that gives you the chance to watch your friends being trampled by bulls.

As always, if I miss an app that you think should definitely have been included, let me know in the comments below, or drop me an email.

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TuneIn updates platform, aims to be the Twitter of music

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TuneIn Radio is one of the hottest music services right now, allowing customers to listen to both terrestrial and internet-based stations. Now the company is implementing a radical upgrade to the way it works.

The service is trying to become more social, a bit like a Twitter for music fans. "TuneIn will connect millions of listeners and broadcasters from all over the globe with new features including a personalized live feed, profile pages, and the ability to share content with the Echo feature", states the company.

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The force is still (too) strong with Android, iOS in the smartphone market

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Any efforts to break the Android and iOS duopoly in the smartphone market appear to be for naught as the pair continues to take the lion's share of shipments and sales. Even third place occupant Windows Phone struggles to gain significant territory, despite higher unit volumes.

A new report from ABI Research shows Android, iOS, and Windows Phone shipments grew in Q1 2014, compared to the same period from 2013. Despite this increase, Apple's platform lost share quarter-over-quarter, dropping from 11 percent to 10 percent. Meanwhile, Android and Windows Phone's shares grew, sequentially, to 44 percent from 39 percent, and to 3 percent from 2 percent, respectively. The numbers are lower than what the likes of IDC report because ABI Research's data combines smartphone and phone shipments.

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Google Maps updated for iOS and Android, improves navigation tools, offline maps support

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Google has updated its mobile mapping apps with the release of Google Maps for iOS 3.0 and Google Maps for Android 8.0.

Both platforms gain improved turn-by-turn navigation controls as well as the addition of travel time estimates. Also added is support for saving offline maps with user-defined names and tagging favorite locations when signed in for access via any device.

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Paranoid? Enough to place your privacy in the hands of John McAfee?

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Remember McAfee? You know, the company whose AV software you couldn't remove from your computer fast enough after picking up an off-the-shelf model? The firm was founded by the now infamous John McAfee, although he has not actually been associated with it in anything other than name for quite some time now. In fact he has become better known for a series of bizarre incidents that saw him accused of manufacturing drugs, mentioned in association with a murder and becoming a fugitive who was concerned that the police were going to kill him.

Sounds like the sort of person you'd like to make an app for your phone? Well, the man is back and this time he, or at least his company Future Tense, has come up with Chadder -- yet another messaging app. But this is a messaging app with a difference. The focus is, allegedly, on privacy, security and encryption. The company's motto is "Say what you want! ⋇⊮ ≩⋉⊱∪≀ ⋘≫≯⋌∹∦ ≎⋡⋔∪≙∼≉{] (We can’t see it anyway!)". My, those symbols really do trip off the tongue.

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Best iOS apps this week

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Seventeenth in a series. Microsoft updated its Office for iPad apps this week, adding some welcome new features, including the most requested of them all -- the ability to print documents. This is a feature that should really have been included from the start, but at least it’s in there now.

New releases this week include standalone apps for Google Docs and Sheets, the first in a series of new Star Wars themed story apps from Disney, a clever app that pulls high quality photos straight from your videos, a SpongeBob SquarePants version of Doodle Jump, and one of the best note taking apps I’ve ever used (and no, it’s not Microsoft OneNote -- although the iPhone version of that was also updated this week).

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Microsoft's Office for iPad now lets you print documents

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Microsoft’s new Office for iPad apps are very good, and hugely popular. A month after release and Word is still the number one free app in the App Store, with Excel sitting at number 8, and PowerPoint at number 16. If you own an iPad, and are an Office 365 subscriber, they’re pretty much essential downloads.

At launch we were promised additional features were on their way, and today Microsoft introduces the most requested one –- the ability to print Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations.

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Apple's iPhones are (still) a force to be reckoned with

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Each month, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech releases a new report on the state of the smartphone market, revealing the performance of the top players in the most important markets across the globe. Today, the research firm treats us to the (highly-anticipated) results for Q1 2014.

The smartphone market is mostly seeing slight changes, as growth is no longer happening at the rate it once used to, with the biggest year-over-year differences confined to single digits. The side-effect is there is little room for less popular players, like Microsoft's Windows Phone, which have to fight for whatever ground the Android and iOS duopoly leaves unconquered.

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