Archive for the ‘iOS’ Category

OurPact returns to App Store, reviving debates about Apple’s impartiality

July 12th, 2019
Tim Cook on stage during an Apple event in September 2018.

Tim Cook on stage during an Apple event in September 2018. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Software may come and go from the App Store, but this week marks a return that could have some real significance for Apple. OurPact, an app that lets parents monitor and limit their children's use of technology, has returned to the App Store after being removed this spring. Its creators posted a social message to followers informing them of the app’s return to iOS earlier this week.

“A major thank you to our community for the outpouring of support throughout these removals," the OurPact announcement reads. "Every tweet, share, and mention helped spread the word and restore the future of iOS digital parenting. We look forward to developing family screen time solutions for years to come!"

OurPact was one of 11 apps providing parental control over kids' smartphone usage to be restricted or completely removed from the App Store in April. At the time, Apple claimed the move was due to privacy concerns. It argued that the apps in question used mobile device management (MDM) technology that could "[give] a third party control and access over a device and its most sensitive information, including user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions, and browsing history."

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Posted in App Store, apple, iOS, screen time, Tech | Comments (0)

Catalyst deep dive: The future of Mac software according to Apple and devs

July 1st, 2019
Twitter returns to the Mac via Apple's Project Catalyst.

Enlarge / Twitter returns to the Mac via Apple's Project Catalyst. (credit: Apple)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—When Apple revealed macOS Catalina at WWDC this month, one related announcement drew considerable interest from Mac users and developers alike: a new way to turn iPad apps into fully native Mac apps.

Dubbed Project Catalyst, it promised to increase the number of quality native apps on the Mac platform by leveraging developers' existing work in the arguably more robust iOS (and now, iPadOS) app ecosystem. But it does raise questions: what does this mean for Mac users' future experiences? Will this change the type of software made for Macs? Is Apple's ecosystem a mobile-first one?

Then there are developer concerns: is Catalyst just a stepping stone to SwiftUI? What challenges can devs expect when adapting their iPad apps for the Mac?

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Posted in apple, Apple App Store, arkit, Features, iOS, iPadOS, Mac, Mac App Store, MacOS, Project Catalyst, software development, Swift, SwiftUI, Tech, UIKit, WWDC 2019, Xcode | Comments (0)

iOS 13 will remind you to cancel your subscription when you delete an app

June 18th, 2019

Sure, some users will appreciate iOS 13's dark mode, but features that relate to privacy, quality of life, and user advocacy are likely to be the ones that make the biggest difference for people when Apple's new iPhone, iPad, and iPod software arrives later this year.

To that point, uninstalling an app to which you have a paid subscription in iOS 13's latest beta release will lead to a prompt to potentially unsubscribe from that app. This might be a good idea because odds are decent that if you're deleting the app, you're not planning to use the related service anymore.

Of course, that won't always be the case: you could just be removing the app temporarily, you could still plan to use it on another device, or you could even just wish to keep supporting the developer who made it. The prompt just says "Manage Subscription," which is what copywriters might call a soft call-to-action—it's not telling you to unsubscribe, it's just making it an option.

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Posted in apple, beta, iOS, iOS 13, Tech | Comments (0)

I’ll be passing on Google’s new 2fa for logins on iPhones and iPads. Here’s why

June 12th, 2019
I’ll be passing on Google’s new 2fa for logins on iPhones and iPads. Here’s why

Enlarge (credit: Google)

Google is expanding its new Android-based two-factor authentication (2fa) to people logging in to Google and Google Cloud services on iPhones and iPads. While Google deserves props for trying to make stronger authentication available to more users, I’ll be avoiding it in favor of 2fa methods Google has had in place for years. I’ll explain why later. First, here’s some background.

Google first announced Android’s built-in security key in April, when it went into beta, and again in May, when it became generally available. The idea is to make devices running Android 7 and up users’ primary 2fa device. When someone enters a valid password into a Google account, the phone displays a message alerting the account owner. Users then tap a "yes" button if the login is legitimate. If it's an unauthorized attempt, the user can block the login from going through.

The system aims to tighten account security in a meaningful way. One of the key causes of account breaches is passwords that are compromised in phishing attacks or other types of data thefts. Google has been a leader when it comes to two-factor protections that by definition require something in addition to a password for someone to gain access to an account.

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Posted in 2FA, Android, Biz & IT, google, iOS, iPads, iPhones, two-factor authentication | Comments (0)

iOS 12.3.2 fixes a camera bug but doesn’t do much else

June 10th, 2019
The iPhone 8 Plus has a dual-camera setup.

Enlarge / The iPhone 8 Plus has a dual-camera setup. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Today, Apple is pushing out a new update to iOS, its software for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch—but this update is targeted at fixing an issue on just one device: the iPhone 8 Plus.

iOS 12.3.2 doesn't seem to do anything else worth remarking upon. Apple's notes simply say:

iOS 12.3.2 resolves an issue that could cause Camera to capture Portrait mode photos without depth effect on some iPhone 8 Plus devices.

Updates don't get much more minor than this. Apple typically releases updates that contain new features for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS simultaneously. But sometimes the company updates only one operating system at a time when it's a targeted bug fix, as is the case here. If you don't have an iPhone 8 Plus, this update isn't for you.

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Posted in apple, iOS, iOS 12, iOS 12.3.2, Potrait Mode, Tech | Comments (0)

Minecraft Earth gets first live demo, coming to iOS “this summer”

June 3rd, 2019

Mojang, the Microsoft-owned studio behind Minecraft, used Monday's WWDC keynote to unveil the world's first live gameplay look at its next smartphone-exclusive game, Minecraft Earth. This demo also included the firmest tease yet about when series fans will get their hands on the augmented-reality game: "coming this summer to iOS." This specific tease didn't include any indication of whether that means the game's promised Android version will take longer to land as a public beta.

The onstage demo began with two Mojang employees aiming their iOS devices at a table, where a blocky Minecraft game world appeared that both users could simultaneously interact with. By walking around the table and aiming their devices' cameras, the staffers could use items and weapons, interact with switches, and drop or plant items in their inventories. One staffer also placed her Minecraft-styled avatar into the game world like a doll, which she could then animate by moving her real-world body. iOS's upcoming ARKit 3.0 appears to support body gestures like hand-waving, and we saw one-handed and two-handed waves in this portion of the demo.

This was followed by a world shift from the top of a table to all around the WWDC stage, which resulted in the Mojang reps appearing as real people inside the blocky, virtual Minecraft Earth world—and having their bodies occluded by virtual content (like when one staffer hid behind a freshly planted bundle of flowers). While the players could walk around the real-world space to reach new parts of the virtual world, they largely relied on aiming their phones' views to manipulate distant objects or lay down torches.

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Posted in Android, arkit, augmented reality, Gaming & Culture, iOS, Minecraft, Minecraft Earth | Comments (0)

iOS 13: Apple brings Dark Mode to iPhones and multitasking overhaul to iPads

June 3rd, 2019
Apple Senior VP Craig Federighi on stage, showing an iPhone with iOS 13's dark mode.

Enlarge / Apple Senior VP Craig Federighi unveiling iOS 13's dark mode. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Apple executives took the stage today at the San Jose Convention Center to walk onlooking members of the press and developers—not to mention thousands of livestream viewers—through iOS 13, its new major software update for iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

iOS 13 will introduce Dark Mode to those devices for the first time. Apple brought Dark Mode to Macs via macOS Mojave last year, to much fanfare. As was the case there, Dark Mode doesn't actually change anything about the interface—just the aesthetics. Apple showed Dark Mode running on the company's first-party apps for news, calendar, messages, and more. Dark Mode may also save battery life on devices with emissive OLED displays—savings like that were discovered in our own tests comparing Android devices with LCD and OLED displays. But we'll have to test the new OS to be sure.

Every iOS update brings changes to key apps made by Apple itself, and most of the apps included with a new installation of iOS have seen some changes. Mail now allows you to mute certain conversations. Maps has a new, easier way of accessing saved locations. The upgrade to Apple Maps will bring far more detail to the overhead view of roads and landmarks, with this rolling out to the entire United States by the end of 2019 and "select countries" next year.

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Posted in apple, iOS, iOS 13, ipad, iphone, Tech, WWDC, WWDC 2019 | Comments (0)

The WWDC Liveblog: All the OS details from Apple’s annual keynote

June 2nd, 2019
Neon emoji and animoji images accompanied the invites to press.

Enlarge / Neon emoji and animoji images accompanied the invites to press. (credit: Apple)

At 10am PDT (1pm EDT, 5pm GMT) on Monday, June 3, 2019, Apple will host its "special event"—or as we've long called it, the keynote—to kick off the 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference. In front of an audience of press and developers, the company is expected to share details about its upcoming major annual operating system updates for iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and other products.

Ars will once again be on the scene at WWDC in San Jose, and on Monday we'll be sharing live updates throughout keynote in our liveblog—just come back here a few minutes before the event starts to follow along.

The main focus is expected to be iOS 13, the new version of Apple's software for iPhones. Previous leaks and reports have suggested a number of totally overhauled apps, significant iPad interface changes, and a Mojave-like Dark Mode. Apple will also discuss macOS 10.15, watchOS 6, and tvOS 13. The Mac updates may focus on Marzipan, which is the codename for an Apple project to make it easier to develop apps that can be deployed to iPhones, iPads, and Mac with minimal additional work for developers for each platform. Apple introduced the concept at last year's WWDC, but we expect the big rollout to happen in some form or another this year.

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Posted in apple, iOS, live, liveblog, Mac Pro, MacOS, Tech, watchos, WWDC 2019 | Comments (0)

What to expect from Apple’s WWDC 2019 keynote next week

May 31st, 2019
Neon emoji and animoji images accompanied the invites to press.

Enlarge / Neon emoji and animoji images accompanied the invites to press. (credit: Apple)

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) starts this Monday, June 3, with a stage presentation by Apple executives at 10am Pacific Time. WWDC is usually one of the two biggest Apple events of the year (the other is the now-recurring iPhone/Apple Watch event in the fall), and it generally focuses on software.

It has become tradition for Apple to introduce new versions of its operating systems to developers at WWDC. Those systems include iOS for iPhone, iPad, and iPod; macOS for Mac; watchOS for Apple Watch; and tvOS for Apple TV and Apple TV 4K. In fact, these are some of the primary purposes of the event. So you can expect to see detailed presentations during Apple's keynote on each of those, plus deeper dives for developers in the various sessions at the convention center, which will also be made available as videos on Apple's developer portal.

To prepare for the event, we're recording what we deem to be the likeliest-to-be-true rumors, reports, and predictions ahead of the show—not just for software, but for hardware too.

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Posted in apple, apple music, dark mode, iOS, iOS 13, ipad, Mac Pro, MacOS, macOS 10.15, Marzipan, Tech, tvos, tvOS 13, watchos, watchOS 5 | Comments (0)

Apple reversal allows Valve’s Steam Link streaming app on iOS, tvOS

May 16th, 2019

Valve's mobile Steam Link app, which lets users stream PC games to other screens inside and outside the home, is now available on Apple's iOS and tvOS App Stores.

The news comes almost a year after Apple revoked its approval for the Steam Link app to run on Apple hardware, citing what Valve said were "business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team." Apple and Valve have not responded to a request for comment on what exactly changed in the intervening time period.

As we said in our review last year, the Steam Link app works acceptably well if you have the 5Ghz wireless router that's close to the target device. Even then, you may notice some screen-tearing and stuttering on high-res games that require the most video bandwidth.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, iOS, Steam, tvos, Valve | Comments (0)