iOS 8: A Review

With the launch of Apple’s latest and greatest mobile operating system, iOS 8, there’s never a better time to download it. But what’s in store and how will it affect you as a user?

Apple touts iOS 8 as its biggest software update for iOS devices. But wait, what does that really mean? Well, iOS 8 sports hundreds of new features, refined updates and totally new possibilities.

First off, Apple has updated the messages app, allowing you to send texts easier and more efficiently. No longer do you need to open the messages app, but rather you can swipe to respond. After many years, Apple has finally allowed third-party keyboards. Currently, the App Store sports several new and enhanced keyboards for your iPhone or iPad that add features such as swiping, gestures, different designs, etc., and allow for quicker typing. The new operating system also touts an updated photos app with new filters, enhancements and better organization.

The new Family Sharing feature in iOS 8 allows families to share content between multiple iTunes accounts. Gone are the days where you’d have only one iTunes account for your entire family. Also, Apple debuted iCloud Drive, a service that aims to sync all data in the cloud. Developers can now optimize their apps to support iCloud Drive so apps can access iCloud data much like Apple’s Pages and iBooks apps do. However, perhaps the coolest of all features introduced in iOS 8 is Continuity. Continuity allows iOS users to connect their devices like never before. You can receive an incoming call on your iPad via your iPhone or begin writing an email on your iPad and pick up right where you left off on your Mac. Apple’s strategy with Continuity will make iOS devices even more tightly integrated and work seamlessly together.

Perhaps even more incredible is what Apple has done for its developers. Even if you’re not involved in the development of an app, iOS developers’ work is all around us. With iOS 8, developers can now create “extensions,” or new ways of integrating their apps into the system. For instance, the new Tumblr app lets users share content without ever having to open the Tumblr app. You’ll also see new “widgets” in Notification Center – and there have been several incredible ones already released. Yahoo!’s Weather app is a fully fledged service and looks great. Additionally, you’ll be able to say goodbye to the days of manually typing passwords with Touch ID (Apple’s fingerprint sensor) integration. There’s also a new health app that syncs with other apps from the App Store to provide an actual representation of your daily activities. Further, new games built with a service Apple calls Metal will provide 3-D graphics for iOS devices. Finally, Apple released a new programming language for developers, Swift, that will make apps quicker and more efficient.

Overall, iOS 8 is defiantly a worthy upgrade. While it isn’t as major a design change as iOS 7, its internal features are really fantastic and well worth the upgrade. However, iPhone 4S might find the new system will create some (not terrible) lag on their device.

So, what are you waiting for? Download the free iOS 8 update for your iPhone or iPad now.

Advertisements

Apple vs Google – Battle of the Tech Giants

photo

Google just recently held its annual developers’ conference, Google I/O, in San Francisco.  Just three weeks ago, Apple, too, held it’s annual developers’ conference in San Francisco. Both tech giants showed off their vision for the…future (the next year).

 

20140403-112957.jpgApple’s software lineup wasn’t as radical as iOS 7’s unveiling at WWDC 2013 (an unveiling which wowed the world), but the iPhone maker certainly unveiled much – especially for developers. The company promises to open up portions of its operating system, iOS, to developers with new features – a move it has been reluctant to do in the past.  Apple released a series of API updates and other developer-related content along with iOS 8.  It also pushed new feature such as HomeKit and HealthKit, which will allow pave the road for the rumored “iWatch”.  Apple, unlike Google, did not push wearables at its WWDC, however only hinted at what’s to come.

Google-IO-2014

Google, on the other hand, pushed wearables with it’s watch API and other wearable related software.  The search giant also showed off its competitor to Apple’s Carplay,  Android Auto.  Android Auto promises to ingrate with various cars before the end of 2014 and provide a seamless integration with exiting Android devices.   Google also directly targeted Apple’s comments at WWDC 2014, saying that is is patching security holes at a much faster rate (via Google Play Services).  However, the company still fails to release general software updates to the majority of its users.  Most importantly, Google showed off Android L, it’s next generation operating system, which promises to provide users with a beautiful new experience and systemwide redesign. It will publicly debut in the fall.

The question remains: who will be victorious in the never-ending battle for users and user growth?  Google and Apple both unveiled incredible updates to their existing products.  Collectively, the two conferences did not showcase hardware, but rather hinted at the future by laying the building blocks for wearables and other such technology to emerge.  We’ll just have to wait until the fall to see…

Announcement: Apple Rumors to Shut Down

I great saddness, I am announcing the closing of AppleRumors.NET. AppleRumors.NET has had an incredible history before our purhasing of the site. From 2001-2005 (exact date may vary), the service was owned by an different company which reported exclusively on Apple News. Click here to view more of the old Apple Rumors site.

With my acquisition of the site in September of 2013, I have dramatically revamped the site. Needless to say, I am officially closing AppleRumors.NET by next Sunday for undisclosed purposes. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

To Infinity!

20140401-113236.jpg

China Mobile iPhones go on Sale

Apple on Friday began selling iPhones on China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier. China Mobile boasts an incredible 700 Million+ users, more than Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprit combined.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was present at an Apple Store to offer signed iPhones. Days prior, both Cook and a China Mobile Executive showed their enthusiasm about the upcoming deal. The deal is expected to generate approximately 17 Million new users for Apple.

I’m personally really excited about this deal. There’s a ton of potential for Apple.

Apple: Year in Review

Here at AppleRumors.NET, we’re remembering the amazing year of 2013.  Apple certainly had an incredible year and to do so, rather than write a full fledged article, we’ve prepared a timeline photo to visualize what Apple’s been up to.

AppleYearIn Review

© 2013-2014 AppleRumors.NET

The year started with the introduction of the iPad (4) with 128 GB, then iTunes U hit 1 Billion downloads, WWDC 2013 sold out in less than two minutes (71 seconds), iTunes has 25 Millions songs and turned 10 this year, the App Store hit 50 Billion downloads, and WWDC 2013 began on June 10.  At WWDC, the new Mac Pro, iTunes Radio was unveiled along with OS X Mavericks and the radical iOS 7.  The MacBook Airs as well as new Airport Extremes and time Capsules were also released.  Apple updated Logic pro to Logic Pro X, a major upgrade, in July and new iMacs launched in late September.  September was also the month of the iPhone: the iPhone 5s with Touch ID and iPhone 5c.  In October, the new iPads were released (iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display) along with new MacBook Pros (Retina); Apple also updated it’s iWork and iLife Suites (also, it included iWork for iCloud).  In December, Apple pushed iBeacons an signed a major deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier.

That’s not all…see the picture for a full description.  Happy New Year!  We can’t wait for 2014!

Review: Apple iBeacons

20131213-094217.jpg
Image Credit: MacRumors

iBeacon. The name speaks for itself (as does practically every other i product). With the release of iOS 7, Apple introduced a new feature in it’s API to developers. “iBeacon” allows users to receive notifications on their iDevice when they approach a location specific place and have the notification disappear when they leave. Sounds cool? Well, it could have serious applications and the possibilities are endless.

Most recently, rumors pointed to Apple integrating it in their own stores. A few days later, the rumors were confirmed and Apple indeed integrated iBeacons into its stores.

So what exactly are these iBeacons? Spam machines? Well, partially. I happened to test out the iBeacons when purchasing a new computer at the Apple Store yesterday (oh, and I saw the code class Apple has been promoting). First off, you have to have the Apple Store App installed. Once you have the app installed, you’ll be prompted to enable the notificatoins. If you have in-store iBeacon notifications enabled, you’ll receive info when you walk towards a specific section. I walked towards the iPhone table and was presented with a notification (see below). Not bad, but not great. I was unimpressed with the overall usage – I didn’t get notifications for the iPad or Mac sections (not sure why).

iBeacons do have potential. A lot of it, in fact. But they need to be utilized to their potential. Can’t wait to see what Apple does in the future.

More pictures to come soon! Check back soon.