With iOS 8.3, Apple added 300 new emoji choices, including the option to add a little more racial diversity to the faces on its emoji keyboard. While none of the emoticons or family groups offer options for different skin tones, the single human characters and body parts (hands, noses, etc.) all come with the new diversity options.
Apple is now selling, for the first time, an iPhone Lightning Dock that can be used with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Unlike earlier docks, which had a groove that held your phone, this one has no groove. There are two advantages: the same dock fits both phones, and you don't need to remove the phone's case to put it in the dock. The Lightning connector protrudes above a solid slab. Like most Apple products, it's pricey, at $39. The Apple Store web page says that it ships in 1 to 3 days.
The Apple Watch has been in customers hands (or on their wrists) for less than a month, but that was enough time for Apple to learn what fixes and enhancements were needed and deliver their first update. If you are lucky enough to have an Apple Watch, open the official Apple Watch app on your iPhone, and under General, check for Software Update. Follow the directions to download the 51.6 MB update.
Selfies are big and a selfie stick is the only way to get a good shot without your arm being in the way. Even Tom Hanks took an epic selfie with David Letterman, but to make it a nice photo, he used a selfie stick. Now some museums and events have banned selfie sticks, including Apple's own Worldwide Developers Conference. So if you're going to bring a selfie stick, you will want an ubtrusive stealthy model.
Now that the Apple Watch has been available for a month, some experienced users are developing strong opinions about the best and most useful apps. And they've taken the time to post short lists of these.
Do you have an idea for an app but lack the programming knowledge to begin building it? In this weekly blog series, How to Unleash Your Inner App Developer, I will take you, the non-programmer, step by step through the process of creating apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Join me each week on this adventure, and you will experience how much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is Part 16 of the series. If you are just getting started now, check out the beginning of the series here. (This post has been updated to Swift 1.2, iOS 8, and Xcode 6.3.)
In my previous blog post, you learned how to add Core Data to a project and design entities in a data model. In this post, you will learn how to generate entity classes from the entities in a data model and use them within your app. You can get the latest version of the iAppsReview project at this link.
Touch ID is a very useful feature on iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 plus models, as well as iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. You can set it up to work as a password to your phone and App Store purchases, as well as use it in apps like 1Password as an identification tool. The Touch ID button recognizes your fingerprints, up to five of them, and gives you easy and seamless access to your device without having to enter a number or word password.
Thanks to everyone who entered the May 18 iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Every other week we give away three amazing prizes, so if you didn't win this time, make sure you enter the June 1 giveaway and tell your friends to enter too!
And the winner is... (drum roll please):
It seems like I have been waiting for an app-enabled smartwatch since my calculator watch days in the early 1980s. I'm still waiting, because while the Apple Watch runs apps as extensions of the iPhone's screen, those apps still run on the iPhone. Apple has said that developers will be able to write apps that run natively on the Apple Watch, but it hasn't committed to a date. Perhaps June's Worldwide Developers Conference will shed some light on this limitation.
Steve Jobs has been gone for years, but his presence is still felt. Apple CEO Tim Cook honored the Apple founder at a commencement speech at George Washington University this weekend. Cook, fresh off a visit to China, told the audience they shouldn't have to choose between a job that pays the bills and their ambitions to do good and make a difference.
Apple rarely comments on forthcoming products, but reacted quickly when the rumor began spreading late last week that HomeKit devices wouldn't be available until August or September.
I had the opportunity to try BM101 Mini Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker ($24.99) from Life n Soul. It is a teeny tiny adorable speaker about the size of two dozen quarters, stacked on top of each other. When placed on its side, it almost looks like a jet engine. There are two small metal hooks on the side that you can attach a small lanyard to, for use on the go.
I try to be good about keeping my Messages app cleaned out from unwanted texts by deleting them. There are times though that I receive texts from people who are not in my Contacts and I may want to save the text, but not necessarily add the person to my Contacts list. That’s why I’m glad Apple added a new sorting feature to Messages in iOS 8.3. Now I can keep my Contacts and Unknown Senders separate.
As the tech world awaits an announcement by Apple regarding its expected subscription music service, Rdio on Thursday undercut the competition by offering a low-cost streaming music service called Rdio Select. For $3.99 per month, you can stream Pandora-like stations ad-free at 320 kbs, enjoy unlimited skips, and access 25 of your favorite songs each day.
If you are one of the elite few to score a gold Apple Watch, or if you gravitate towards the gold iPhones or iPads, then the Monster 24K headphones ($299.95) may be the perfect accessory to compliment your sense of style. Monster's 24K headphones are a sleek synthesis of a high performance, self-contained sound system, with decadent elegance and posh style. With their extremely flashy look, the 24K may not be for everyone, but for those looking to make a Kardashian-esque fashion statement with their headphones, these are a classy alternative.
As many advancements as Apple has brought out recently, the camera has remained pretty stagnant. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus offer the same 8 megapixel resolution as the iPhone 5s. At least the larger iPhone 6 Plus offers optical image stabilization. In fact, as the phones got thinner, Apple wasn't able to reduce the size of the lens, and that's why it protrudes a bit on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Do you find yourself mostly answering the phone in speaker mode? Well, there’s an easier way than tapping buttons. You can set your iPhone settings to answer in speaker mode automatically. Here’s how:
Act fast, because until May 16th at 11:59pm (ET) only, PowerSkin is offering their PoP'n for just $10 shipped. Technically, it's a penny with $9.99 shipping, but however you slice it, it's a good deal, since it normally lists for $49.99 plus shipping. The PowerSkin PoP'n latches on to the Lightning port (or microUSB if that's what you order) of your iPhone and sticks to the back of the phone or case. Not all cases will work with it, as you need some clearance around the lightning port, but you could always remove your case if needed. Their website lists the iPhone 5/5s/5c, but it should work with an iPhone 6.
I love using my Calendar app to keep track of my family's schedule. It can only be so helpful, though, when I'm the only one using it. Having a sharable family calendar means that we can all be on the same page—all the time. The family calendar just might be my favorite feature of Family Sharing!
If you were lucky (and brave) enough to pick up an Apple Watch, you probably want to find some killer apps for it. Maybe you want to justify your purchase, or show it off to friends, or just get the most out of your new device. After all, the original iPhone didn't really strut its stuff until the App Store showed up a year later.