App developers heard some great news today when Tim Cook announced that WatchKit, the software development kit for building apps for the upcoming Apple Watch will be released next month (November)!
As I discussed previously in my Developing Next-Generation Apps for the Apple Watch post, this provides a great opportunity for app developers to get in the ground floor of a new technology and get noticed.
When speculating about the iPhone 6, I postulated that Apple could do something revolutionary and make a single LTE model that worked with multiple carriers. It didn't happen, but when I purchased my (second) iPhone 6 from Radio Shack, the clerk and I discussed how the technology is already there with LTE and SIM cards, and it would make inventory so much easier. Instead of stocking AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint models, stores could just stock the single SKU. It didn't happen with the iPhone 6, but today Apple did it with the iPad Air 2!
I greatly enjoyed today's Apple event introducing the new iPads and iOS 8.1. But I didn't get what I was hoping for: a new iPad mini with all the features of the new iPad Air 2. Yes, we got a new iPad mini 3, but apparently it's the same as the previous version with the addition of Touch ID. As you can see in this comparison chart, we now have five iPad models to choose from: iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3. As is typical, the new iPads with more features have been introduced at the same price as the older models, and the price of the older models has dropped. Perhaps the biggest news is that the memory configurations of the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 now match those of the new iPhones: 16, 64, and 128 GB. That means for the 64 and 128 GB models you're paying $100 less than for a similar amount of memory in the earlier iPads. And both the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come with a gold-colored option.
Earlier this year, when Apple's Eddy Cue said that "we've got the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple," he apparently wasn't exaggerating. This year has been nothing short of spectacular for Apple, with the release of one innovative and impressive product after another. It would seem the creative spirit of Steve Jobs is alive and well in Cupertino California. As Tim Cook reiterated today, this is the "strongest lineup of products that Apple has ever had." Congratulations Mr. Cook, job well done. Now as Apple wraps up itsr last major product announcement of 2014, let's take a quick look back at what a year it's been for this powerhouse company as it proves itself to be more cutting edge and more relevant than ever.
If you're like me, if Apple announced it, you gotta have it. In my case, it's for professional reasons. As an app developer, and writer for iPhone Life, I need to have access to the latest gear. But I also enjoy technology and don't like waiting! So, starting October 17, you can try to pre-order the items just announced today, but even that isn't a guarantee. I was online at 3 a.m. the day the iPhone 6 was supposed to be orderable, but it took a half hour to finally buy one.
As a former weather guy, one part of the Apple announcement today really sparked my interest. The new iPad Air 2 will include a barometer. This both excites and makes me wonder just how well this feature will be harnessed. It is likely this is the same sensor introduced in the iPhone 6, though I admit that I haven't been able to test apps leveraging the feature yet.
The iPad Air 2 was announced today, and many of its features were expected, but it wasn't clear quite how thin it would be. At 6.1mm, you could stack two of them on top of each other and it would be as thick as the original iPad. This makes the iPad Air 2 the thinnest tablet on the market. Apple claims the iPad Air 2 is the only one with an Anti-Reflective Coating.
Last month, and even before that at the WWDC event in June, Apple showed off a technology called Continuity. This promised to allow seamless integration between multiple iOS devices but also with Mac OS computers. A Keynote presentation could be started on an iPhone, continued on an iPad, and finished on a Mac.
Apple Pay was preannounced last month, but today Apple let us know when we can start using it. As of Monday, October 20, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners will be able to use the phone's Near Field Communication features to pay.
You may have had the experience of working on a draft of an email but then needing to look at a different email in your inbox. But the draft obscured the screen and couldn't be quickly be pushed aside and then returned to. Fortunately, Mail in iOS 8 has remedied this situation. You can swipe away a draft, access your other email, and then quickly bring it back into view to continue working on it. This is typically referred to as "minimizing" the email draft.
Don't Miss Our Oct. 16 Apple Announcement Coverage!
Tomorrow we will find out just what Apple meant in its event invitation when the company said, "It's been way too long." Will we see an iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3? A long overdue update to Apple TV? A revamped Mac mini? What about Apple's new HomeKit smart-home platform?
Once again I'm really looking forward to an announcement from Apple. Thursday's event will be live streamed and will likely introduce the next iPad Air and a new retina iMac. Beyond that, not much is known. The iPad Air 2 is expected to have Touch ID and an 8-megapixel camera. In addition, it's expected to come with the new A8 processor, which is remarkably more efficient than the previous A7, meaning the battery can be smaller while offering greater performance. The iPad Air 2 is also rumored to include an anti-reflective screen coating, which would be a nice feature. However, rumors say that the Apple is having problems producing this new type of display, which may constrain supplies of the new iPad for a while.
I love my iPhone 6, but this iPhone 5 battery case from LifeCharge makes me miss my iPhone 5s. There are a lot of battery cases out there, and there's only so many ways to differentiate themselves, but LifeCharge found two ways that I appreciate. First, it recharges wirelessly, using the included charging pad. Just place the iPhone, in the LifeCharge case, on top of the slim, silver pad, and it starts charging. It's like magic! Since Apple is unlikely to adopt Qi or PowerMat's charging standards, this may be the closest we come to induction charging.
Even as Apple ramps up for another product announcement, it's still hard to get your hands on the last set of products they announced. The new iPad Air is expected to be in short supply, and the iPhone 6, especially the Plus-sized model is also playing hard to get. Given all the sizes (6 and 6 Plus), colors (silver, gold, and space gray), carriers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.) and memory combinations (16GB, 64GB, 128GB) it's remarkable if you can find the exact model you want, in stock, without settling for something else.
One of the useful new features of iOS 8 is the ability to view the desktop version of a website in Safari rather than the mobile version — saving me a lot of frustration. For years I’ve had a personalized Yahoo page that's well organized into three columns: 1) stocks, sports, weather, 2) top news, science news, Doonesbury, and 3) Apple news sites. So it was really disorienting when I would go to my Yahoo page on my iPad and all the news feeds would be in two columns with the order all jumbled up. The first time I used this new iOS 8 feature to request the desktop site, my response was: hallelujah!
MacWorld has a storied history. It launched with the original Mac back in 1984, and was the closest thing to an official Apple magazine as there was. The MacWorld tradeshow, many of which I attended, was a chance to meet with Apple representatives, Apple fans, and suppliers without having to mingle with PC folk! So many of Apple's product announcements and turning points occurred at MacWorld and so many great writers contributed to the print magazine of the same name.
I've owned every iPhone since the beginning and never cracked a screen. But the other day, my luck ran out. Technically, it was my daughter's luck and her iPhone that cracked, but the buck stops with me. It was a new iPhone 6 and it fell out of her pocket at three or four feet, onto the parking lot. It was in a case, but the case didn't offer much protection on the bottom edge and that's where the crack started.
If you have read Apple's documentation on Generics and were left wondering how you could use this technology in your own projects, this post is for you! You will learn how to take full advantage of generics in your every-day code as well as how to avoid the constant type-casting that usually results from creating generalized code.
Mail in iOS 8 has a lot of helpful features that make it easier for you to deal with the onslaught of email messages. In addition to the new swipe gestures covered in a previous tip, iOS 8 also offers a quick way to mark all email messages as read. If you've glanced down the list of messages in your Inbox and determined there's nothing needing your attention, this is a quick way to deal with them.
It's that time of year again. Right after a new iPhone comes out there is the inevitable deluge of great cases to protect your new investment. This happens with every iPhone release, but perhaps never more markedly than with the introduction of the completely new form factors of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If ever an iPhone needed a case it is these large and larger models, with their increased real estate, slick, rounded edges and extra weight. Rather than clump a bunch of individual cases together I'll be focusing on one great case each week over the course of the coming months. This week's featured case is Otterbox's Defender.