Tag Archive: ios 8

Public beta testing programs coming for iOS 8.3 and iOS 9

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According to a new report by Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, Apple is planning on opening up the beta version of iOS 8.3 and iOS 9 to the public in the coming months.  The company has been under fire recently for releasing software to the public with numerous glitches and problems in it.  iOS 8, for example, was released in September after three months of testing by developers and it still had multiple problems. There have been several smaller updates, like iOS 8.1 and iOS 8.1.1, that have come up to fix some of these.  Apple is hoping that by allowing more people to downloaded beta software, these bugs could be fixed by the time the public launch date.

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In the Fall, Apple created a program called AppleSeed that allowed a certain number of people to download the unreleased OS X Yosemite update for the Macs. This program let Apple fix a number of bugs before the software was officially released. They are rumored to be adopting this program for iOS users. Gurman reports that iOS 8.3 will be available for this program starting in mid-March and iOS 9 in June.

The report also talks about what we should expect for the upcoming operating system updates. iOS 8.3, which is currently in its first beta among developers, brings support for Wireless CarPlay, updated Emoji keyboard layout, higher-quality and more humanlike voice for Siri, new password settings for downloading free content and other minor enhancements. The second beta is expected next week for developers while the public release will be sometime in April.  After this update releases to the public, iOS 8.4 will be coming out. This is rumored to bring a new music streaming service that is similar to Spotify. The next major release for iPhone, called iOS 9, will be announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June. It will include numerous bug fixes and enhancements.

See How it All Ends From the Beginning in ‘Spoiler Alert'

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Spoiler_Alert_IconStart the New Year off right with a change of scenery. Instead of playing a game from beginning to end, why not try playing it from end to beginning? Sounds crazy, but you’re able to do just that in Spoiler Alert. Gamers have already had a chance to enjoy this console style game on other platforms, but tinyBuild has finally brought this title over into the iOS world.

Put your console gameplay to the test in this retro style game. Once you start playing Spoiler Alert, you’ve already conquered it. The real test is to see if you can retrace your steps to see how it all started. In your quest to see the story from the beginning, you must accurately retrace your steps or you create a time paradox. When this happens, you must restart this stage from the beginning and work your way back again.

The idea is to have as few time paradox’s as possible on each level, which will result in the shortest amount of time completing each stage. Levels aren’t very long, so it’s not impossible to make your way through each world fairly quickly. If each level were as long as those in Super Mario Bros, you’d be pulling your hair out with frustration. Rest assured, they aren’t.

Each new world introduces new villains as well as fun scenery to check out. Spoiler Alert reminds me of playing video games as a kid, but with tons better graphics. I love the nostalgic feel of Spoiler Alert, but I’m glad they made it look visually pleasing too.

Spoiler_Alert_Screenshot

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Indie App 'Pyramid Jumble' Grabs Your Attention

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Pyramid_Jumble_IconWith Kevin out of the country for a few days, he asked me to step in and deliver some content in his absence and I’m honored to help out. If you haven’t read my articles here on DGB, you can get a taste of what I’ve posted by clicking here. The website I run is iOSetc.com where we focus on making life better one app at a time. In our quest to making your life a little better, we seek out indie apps you may not know about to expose you to something you might not find on the front page of the App Store. One indie app we’ve recently reviewed is called Pyramid Jumble. This word puzzle game offers up numerous challenges amongst many different categories.

My love for word jumble games goes way back to my teenage years when I’d get my hands on a newspaper. I’d always skip over the crossword puzzle section, which I still do today, and find the word jumble. I always got a kick out of trying to figure out the four or five words which then gave you letters to help solve the mystery phrase for the picture associated with the puzzle. When I was contacted by the developer of Pyramid Jumble, I immediately was drawn to it from my love for word jumble games.

Pyramid Jumble starts with three categories you must solve to collect three different colored gems. These gems are used to unlock other categories in subsequent rows. Once you solve a certain percentage of words in any given row, you unlock another row of categories.

In most cases, the categories don’t change too much from row to row, besides getting a little more difficult. There are cases when the category changes in the next row you unlock. I got a little too comfortable with some categories and was surprised when a new row was unlocked to find a new category. My strategy was thrown off a little bit.

When you’re stuck on a word, Pyramid Jumble can give you a hint. It does come at a price though. When you elect to reveal a letter, Pyramid Jumble takes away some of the allotted time you have to solve words in this category. Bonuses are given when you solve words efficiently without using hints. When you use a hint, you lose the time bonuses so make sure you use your hints wisely.

Pyramid_Jumble_Screenshot

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iOS 8.1.2 is released to the public, iOS 8.2 beta 2 is released to developers

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Earlier this week, Apple provided their customers with two updates for iOS.  The general public saw iOS 8.1.2 on their devices while the Apple developers saw the second beta of iOS 8.2.

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The iOS 8.1.2 update doesn’t provide any new features, but it does provide bug fixes.  The biggest fix is to disappearing ringtones.  When ringtones were purchased through iTunes and deleted from the person’s phone, the person was required to purchase them again.  To restore previously purchased ringtones, Apple requests that users go to www.itunes.com/restoretones on their iOS device.  iOS 8.1.2 can be downloaded over-the-air in the Settings app or via iTunes on a computer.

Apple also released the second beta of iOS 8.2, to developers for testing.  The first beta brought WatchKit so developers can start creating apps and Glances for Apple Watch, which is expected to be released in mid-Spring.  Besides performance improvements and bug fixes, there doesn’t seem to be any features added.  The second beta of Xcode 6.2 was released alongside this update.  Developers can download it over-the-air in the Settings app or via the developer portal.

iOS 8 Features #5: Settings and Other Minor App Updates [Tips]

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The eight-generation operating system has been out for a little while now and it has given us a ton of new features. Although it was not quite a dramatic change like iOS 7 was to iOS 6, there are many new features.  Apple advertises it as the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of App Store. In this post we discover some of the new features in Settings and other apps.

Settings

iOS 7 on an iPad

iOS 7 on an iPad

  • Minor tweaks to location of buttons and their icons.  For example, “Notification Center” was changed to “Notifications” and “Wallpapers & Brightness” was changed to one tab called “Wallpaper” and another called “Display & Brightness”
  • New wallpapers have been added and show different scenes involving stars, flowers and nature
  • iCloud Settings give you the option to edit Family Sharing and iCloud Drive (both of which are brand new features in iOS 8)
  • Messages settings to expire voice and audio messages after a set time, change message history and enable Raise to Listen feature.
  • Accessibility settings to turn on grayscale and new options for increasing contrast
  • Photo settings to enable iCloud Photo Library (beta) and keep full resolution photos or device-optimized ones (the latter lets your photos take up less storage space)
  • Access all settings for specific apps at the bottom of the first page of the Settings app.  You can turn on/off notifications, privacy (like location), background app refresh and cellular data usage.
  • View battery usage by app to determine which apps are responsible for killing your battery.
  • Privacy settings now encompasses location services, which apps are allowed to use which features (like Facebook Messenger uses your microphone), sharing diagnostic and usage data with Apple and developers, etc.

There’s a bunch of new features in iOS 8, which means a bunch of new settings for these features. The best idea would be to just open each tab in Settings and check out what you can do.

 

Other Apps Updates

  • Notes– real-time dictation, rich texting editing (bolditalicsunderline), add GIFs and photos
  • Reminders– respond quickly with interactive notifications
  • iBooks- comes installed automatically with iOS 8 for reading electronic books
  • Podcasts– comes installed automatically with iOS 8 for viewing and subscribing to audio and video digital files
  • Calendar– new options for calendars in other languages, enable week numbers, decline events with a comment, respond to invites with interactive notifications
  • FaceTime– updated look for iPad and iPhone
  • Tips- comes installed automatically on iOS 8 to show you the latest tips on how to use your mobile device better (e.g. new timer for selfies in Camera app)
  • Health- comes installed automatically on iOS 8 to collect all health information from various apps and display it in one place. So you can see your calories eaten and burned, hours slept, average heart rate, etc. altogether.
  • App Switcher– most recently used contacts and favorites are displayed. Tap on a contact photo to view options (call, message, etc.) You can turn off this feature in the Settings app.

 

We will go through all the new changes in each of the apps throughout the next week. Check back here daily to see these posts and everything else that is going on in the iOS world. We have already covered Music, Messages and Siri in our first post, Photos, Camera and Notification Center in our second one, Safari, Mail and Spotlight Search in our third one and most recently App Store, Weather and Maps.

iOS 8.0.2 Released, iOS 7 No Longer Available

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After their overlooked mistake of iOS 8.0.1, Apple quickly recalled it and released a less buggy version called “iOS 8.0.2”.  This update fixed the bugs that came with iOS 8 and iOS 8.0.1.  In addition, Apple is no longer signing iOS 7 so users who have updated will not be allowed to switch back. If your device is running iOS 7 still, think twice before updating.

iPhone 6 Plus (left) next to the iPhone 6 (right)

iPhone 6 Plus (left) next to the iPhone 6 (right)

iOS 8.0.2 provides the following bug fixes and improvements, including:

  • fixes an issue in iOS 8.0.1 that impacted cellular network connectivity and Touch ID on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
  • fixes a bug so HealthKit apps can now be made available on the App Store
  • addresses an issue where 3rd party keyboards could become deselected when a user enters their passcode
  • fixes an issue that prevented some apps from accessing photos from the Photo Library
  • improves the reliability of the Reachability feature on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
  • fixes an issue that could cause unexpected cellular data usage when receiving SMS/MMS messages
  • better support of Ask To Buy for Family Sharing for In-App Purchases
  • fixes an issue where ringtones were sometimes not restored from iCloud backups
  • fixes a buy that prevented uploading photos and videos from Safari

So in short, iOS 8.0.2 fixes a few bugs, the problems that iOS 8.0.1 brought and allows apps to communicate with Health.

In addition to this update to iOS 8, Apple has also stopped signing all previous versions of iOS 7.  Users who have updated their devices to iOS 8 will no longer be allowed to downgrade. Developers (and non-developers) running beta software of iOS 8 will soon be no longer able to access their device since the software expires.  If your device is running iOS 7 and is capable of upgrading, you’ll just see a notification in Settings app, but your phone will still work fine.

iOS 8 Features #2: Notification Center, Photos, Camera [Tips]

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The eight-generation operating system (iOS 8) came out earlier this week and introduced us to a ton of new features. Although it isn’t quite as dramatic as iOS 6 was to iOS 7, there are quite a few changes. In this post, we discover some of the new changes in Notification Center, Photos and Camera apps.

Notification Center

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  • Updated look from having three tabs to two tabs: “Today” view and “Notifications” (no more “Missed” tab)
  • Third-party widgets in Notification Center, like Recipe of the Day and stories on BuzzFeed
  • Many settings relocated to Today view (“Edit”, which is at the bottom) to add or delete widgets, like Today Summary, Traffic Conditions and third-party ones
  • New Notification Center settings that allow you turn off notifications individually for each app via “Allow Notifications”
  • Swipe to right to left to remove individual notifications in the Notifications tab
  • Take action with Interactive Notifications by responding to calendar invites, messages, emails, reminders and third-party apps without leaving the app you are in

 

Photos

The Photos app replaced the iPhoto app

The Photos app replaced the iPhoto app

  • iPhoto doesn’t longer work with iOS 8, Apple is replacing it with the new Photos app
  • “Recently Deleted”, “Recently Added”, “Favorites”, “Hidden” and “Time-lapse” photo albums that store your pictures/videos you may have accidentally deleted for up to 30 days,  the ones you just added, the ones you have hearted, the ones you have hidden and your time-lapse videos
  • Time and Date added to individual pictures
  • Smart editing tools with smart composition (crop and straighten horizons), smart adjustments (modify exposure, contrast and more) and Apple or third-party filters
  • Store photos in iCloud Photo Library (beta) to access all pictures and videos on all your devices, and tells you when it was last updated
  • Search photos by date, location or album name
  • Optimize storage settings by keeping full-resolution photos or device-optimized photos (via Settings app)
  • Hide photos by tap and holding individual pictures in the Moments section and only view in “Hidden” photo album

 

Camera

  • Time-lapse mode that takes a series of images and ties them together into a video
  • Manual exposure controls to make the picture lighter or darker in real-time.  Tap to focus, then when you see the sun icon, slide your finger up or down.
  • Self-timer mode for 3 or 10 seconds when using the front or back cameras.
  • Panoramic mode for iPad

We will go through all the new changes in each of the apps throughout the next few weeks. Over the weekend, we talked about the changes to Messages and Music apps and Siri. Check back here daily to see these posts and everything else that is going on in the iOS world.

iOS 8 Features #1: Messages, Siri, Music [Tips]

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The eight-generation operating system (iOS 8) came out earlier this week and introduced us to a ton of new features. Although it isn’t quite as dramatic as iOS 6 was to iOS 7, there are quite a few changes. In this post, we discover some of these changes in the Messages and Music apps and what new features have come to Siri.

Messages

There's some design changes to the Messages app.

There’s some design changes to the Messages app.

  • Send voice and picture messages with the Messages app. The idea is similar to Snapchat: send pictures and videos that can expire after a set period of time.  Press and hold the camera or microphone icon to start.
  • Predictive text is a feature in the keyboard that tries to help you choose the next word. The language displayed will change depending on if you’re writing an email (which tends to be more formal) or writing a text (which is less formal).
  • Third-party keyboards can now take over your Apple keyboard and be used in virtually any app instead.  Follow our guide to install them here.
  • Quickly access recent photos by tapping the camera icon.
  • The Details section has more information and lets you view your friend’s contact information, start a voice call or FaceTime chat, send your location, turn on Do Not Disturb for the conversation and view all sent/received pictures.
  • The Settings app gives you options to delete messages after a certain period of time, expire voice and audio messages after either 2 minutes or 30 days and raise to listen for incoming audio messages.

 

Siri

  • Talk in real time to Siri; your personal assistant will show you what you are saying as you say it and will correct the words to make sense.
  • When your device is plugged in, say “Hey Siri” to initiate a conversation.  I use this feature when I receive a text message and I am busy in another part of the room. Siri will then tell me who messaged me and read what they wrote. (Turn on this feature in the Settings app)
  • Start an app search by asking Siri about a specific app.
  • Identify songs with Shazam by asking Siri “what song is this?”.  You no longer need to download the app, but just ask Siri. She will listen to what song is playing, tell you what it is and then give you the option to buy it.

 

Music

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  • Swipe to delete songs and albums (like U2). You can swipe right to left in order to delete individual songs or albums.
  • Start a new playlist from other playlists. This feature was here in iOS 6, but taken away in iOS 7.
  • Store songs in the Cloud instead of on your device. Although this feature is not new in iOS 8, all my music is stored in the Cloud.  This way I have more storage on my phone and I can still play my music when I have service.  (Turn on Show All Music in Settings app)
  • Buy iTunes Radio music from Lock screen. Just tap Buy and enter in your password or scan your fingerprint with Touch ID without unlocking your device.

 

We will go through all the new changes in each of the apps throughout the next few weeks. Check back here daily to see these posts and everything else that is going on in the iOS world.

How to Update to iOS 9.1

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The ninth-generation operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch came out in September 2015. In October, we see the first major update to the operating system.  Before you upgrade, I highly recommend that you back up your device in iTunes or in iCloud just in case if something were to go wrong. There are two ways to update your device: iTunes or over-the-air.

Update to iOS 9.1 with iTunes

1. Plug your device into your Mac or PC

2. Open iTunes

3. Click on your device

4a. iTunes prompts you to Download & Install iOS 9.1

OR 4b. Open Summary Tab, click Check for Update

Then you will download iOS 9.1 and update your iPhone.

Update to iOS 9.1 Over-the-Air

1. Open Settings app

2. Tap General

3. Tap Software Update

4. Tap Download & Install

You must be connected to a wireless network and have a battery power of at least 50% in order to update your phone.

The update should take anywhere from 5 minutes to 40 minutes to install, depending on your wireless speed.

Download iOS 8 Wallpapers Now

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The eight-generation operating system is still about a week away, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait a week to try out the latest wallpapers.  Apple has changed the rain background that we saw at WWDC to stars and flowers.  Each of the wallpapers either show a beautiful seen in nature, like the Milk Way over a mountain in the winter, or a close-up of a flower (see below).  Click on this link to download all fifteen of the wallpapers.

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This great download file was made by Jason Zigrino and Benjamin Tourin by extracting the wallpapers from iOS 8 GM IPSW file.  When you update your iPhone next week, you’ll have access to all these wallpapers in your settings or you can get them today and start testing out each one.