For well over a year rumors have been floating around that Apple would come out with a new Apple TV set-top box that would include Siri and an App Store. Now, according to BuzzFeed, it's finally going to happen. Citing "sources familiar with the company's plan," BuzzFeed says the new Apple TV will be introduced in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference and that it represents a major overhaul of the device. That overhaul not only includes a new interface but also the capability of controlling smart home devices. With the introduction of HomeKit at WWDC last year, many had expected the Apple TV to play a central role in controlling HomeKit-compatible devices. It looks like that may be happening.
As it gets closer to April 10, when you'll be able to get your hands on a demo Apple Watch in the Apple Stores, details are leaking about the preparations Apple is making for the large crowds that are expected. According to 9To5Mac, which apparently has sources inside the company, Apple will be making 15-minute appointments for customers to come in and try on an Apple Watch. The post said that it may not be necessary to have an appointment, but that in every case people will be limited to 15 minutes. And having tried on an Apple Watch, they can make a reservation to come into the Apple Store to purchase an Apple Watch beginning on April 24. The stores are expected to have enough stock to also service walk-in customers.
In my reporting on iPhone and iPad news, I constantly rely on a range of Apple-related websites. But rather than having to visit each one individually, I gather all their news feeds into a single web page, using the personalization feature of My Yahoo. At a glance I can see all the latest Apple news. These news feeds from websites are called RSS feeds. ("RSS" stands for "rich site summary," though some people say it stands for "really simple syndication.") There are RSS apps you can download that let you gather these news feeds. But you can also subscribe to news feeds in Safari.
As Apple gears up to sell the Apple Watch, they're upping their efforts to get Android users to switch to the iPhone. After all, you gotta have an iPhone if you want the full functionality of an Apple Watch. 9To5Mac is reporting that in the coming weeks Apple will begin letting users of Android and other smartphones trade in their phones for an Apple gift card that can be used toward the purchase of an iPhone. The report says that the process will be similar to the program already in place for trading in used iPhones. Customers will bring in their old smartphone, and an Apple representative will determine the trade-in value. Extensive training for Apple Store employees is said to begin this week, with the trade-in program expected to start sometime after that. Presumably the new trade-in program will launch before the Apple Watch goes on sale April 24.
If you're thinking of getting an Apple Watch, you'll have lots of decisions to make regarding style and size. This is atypical of Apple, which has usually kept their product line tightly focused. So it will be interesting to see how it does with a device that's also a fashion accessory. In a previous post, I pointed to a website that lets you try various combinations of watch styles and bands to see how your customized Apple Watch will look and to help you decide which to buy. And now iMore has a tip that helps you decide which size Apple Watch to get.
The annual SXSW festival that's currently going on in Austin, Texas, featured a new documentary on Steve Jobs by the award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney. And it's bad, says 9To5Mac. A number of Apple employees walked out during the screening, and Apple's Eddy Cue tweeted that it's "an inaccurate and mean-spirited view" of his friend. Titled Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, the movie has now been picked up for distribution in theaters by Magnolia Pictures and for airing on TV by CNN. It includes interviews with former Apple employees and with Jobs's ex-girlfriend with whom he fathered a child. It even includes footage of Jobs's testimony to the SEC in 2008. The movie is expected to be released before the movie based on Walter Isaacson's biography that will be in theaters in October.
It's important to keep your iPhone or iPad backed up, and especially important to back it up before you install an iOS update. Of course, given that much content already resides in iCloud these days, even if you aren't backed up and you lose everything, your apps, media, and personal data such as contacts, calendar, and email will still be able to be restored. But having a full and recent backup is the fastest way to restore, plus it restores all your settings, too. For convenience, you can set your iPhone or iPad to automatically back up via iCloud when you device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, plugged in, and locked. Plus, you can manually tell it to back up now.
The Flyover feature of Apple's Maps, as you likely know, gives you a 3D view of a city. A list of these cities can be found on the website Flyover Cities. In iOS 8 Apple added a fun new feature called Flyover Tour that takes you on a 3D tour of the city's major landmarks. The Flyover Tour of New York City includes the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Central Park, and more. Only some of the Flyover cities have a Flyover Tour. They include New York City, San Francisco, London, Paris, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Sydney.
Anytime you see a link in Safari or Mail, you can tap and hold it to reveal options beyond simply opening the new page. I constantly use this feature when I'm looking at the news in my personalized Yahoo page. If I see a news story I want to read, I tap and hold the link so that the page opens in a separate tab. That way I can quickly go back to the original Yahoo page without having to use the back arrow and waiting for the page to reload. The options in Safari also included adding the linked page to your Reading List. Tapping and holding a link in Mail also gives you the option of adding the page to your reading list as well as opening the page in Safari. Finally, the options include copying the link so you can paste it elsewhere.
If you like to use the camera on your iPhone or iPad, one of the features you'll appreciate in iOS 8 is the ability to recover deleted photos. When you delete a photo, it remains available in the Recently Deleted album on your device for 30 days. If you decide that in fact you want to save a photo you deleted, you can easily recover it.