Posts in Linked

The iPhone 6 Plus Is Not an iPad nano

Jason Snell, writing at his new website, Six Colors:

When Apple announced the iPhone 6 Plus on Sept. 9, I entertained the idea that it might be a replacement for my iPad mini. At last, the promise of a single device small enough to fit in my pocket, but big enough to satisfy my productivity needs.

Then I used the iPhone 6 Plus. And while it will have its fans—in fact, I’ll wager that the iPhone 6 Plus will have rabid fans—it’s just not for me, because I wasn’t seeking a bigger iPhone. I was seeking an iPad nano, and that’s not something the iPhone 6 Plus is willing to be.

I saw a lot of iPhone 6 Plus reviews suggest that the device can be an iPad mini replacement, and I'm glad that Jason pointed out actual issues with that idea.

I do wonder why iPads aren't getting that special 6 Plus keyboard, though. I would love to be able to customize the keys that show up on my iPad's keyboard (sort of like the latest PCalc for iOS).

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On Location in Iceland with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

This is an incredible collection of photos by Austin Mann for The Verge. Make sure to check out the Focus Pixels and Slo-Mo videos – the difference is stunning.

I loved this bit about the iPhone as a camera:

I really enjoy the challenge and spontaneity of capturing powerful images without directing them. I love to explore, see a moment coming, line up the shot and capture it as it passes. The great thing about carrying the iPhone as my primary shooting device is it’s simple yet so powerful: it's ready to capture virtually any scenario I encounter. It enables images like this in a way no other camera ever could, no matter the cost.

For a comparison, check out Mann's trip to Patagonia with an iPhone 5s from last year.

Update: More at Austin Mann's website.

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iOS 8 Shows Love for HTML5

Ross Gerbasi has an overview of great changes for web developers in iOS 8.

He notes that WKWebView, a new technology to have faster web views in third-party apps, currently has a major bug:

Remember that amazing new WebView I was just telling you all about? The one with the super fast Nitro JS engine and shiny new everything. Well, its broken… The bug here is a security issue which does not allow “WKWebView” to load files from the local filesystem. So what this means is that your embedded index.html is not accessible to the “WKWebView”. This is a blocker for PhoneGap and Cordova applications that are using offline/local files to serve up an application. So currently, if you would like to use “WKWebView” in your application, you must load your files from a remote server. For example, loading “index.html” will not work, but loading “http://www.google.com” will work just fine.

Several developers of apps I was testing told me they needed to disable WKWebView for this reason. I can't wait for a fix.

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Essence Icons @3x

Icons & Coffee (the side-project that I run with my girlfriend Silvia) released version 1.2 of the Essence icon set today. Essence is used in thousands of apps and it includes 350 unique icon designs in multiple versions. Today's update adds support for the iPhone 6 Plus with @3x sizes.

From the blog post:

Following Apple’s announcements, we’ve added new PNG files for the iPhone 6 Plus (@3x); as always, PNGs are available in three colors (blue, gray, and white). We’ve also included a PNG reference so you can easily find the icon file you’re looking for in the download.

You can check out Essence 1.2 here.

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iOS 8 on Older Hardware

Every year, I'm always curious to know how the latest version of iOS works on the oldest compatible iOS hardware, and I always forget.

Thankfully, Ars Technica published two detailed looks at performance changes with iOS 8 on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. Particularly in Andrew Cunningham's article, it's clear how Apple's march towards larger screen sizes has been driving software features that take advantage of pixels to offer more room for information, search results, or toolbars.

I'm not sure I would be able to enjoy iOS 8 this much on a device like the 4S. Hopefully Apple will improve performance on older hardware like they did with iOS 7.1.

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Epic Zen Garden for iOS 8

Zen Garden, the demo that Epic Games showcased at WWDC '14 for the Metal announcement, has been released today as Epic Zen Garden.

Epic Zen Garden is a demonstration of Metal's capabilities, and it's meant for modern hardware. I spent about 30 minutes with the game on my iPhone 5s and iPad mini, and I think it looks great. It's especially impressive in motion.

It's fun to tap areas on screen and see how Metal can animate thousands of objects at once. I can't wait to see what kind of new experiences iOS 8 and Metal will bring for mobile gaming. Epic Zen Garden is free on the App Store.

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The First Ferrari FF with CarPlay in Italy

Ferrari:

The first FF equipped with the Apple CarPlay system has gone to an Italian client. Deliveries of the Ferraris sporting the innovative integrated Apple technology commenced over the last few days and the cars are now arriving at their final destinations and will hit the road all over the world. In Europe, they are bound for Germany, Great Britain, France and Switzerland while others have been dispatched to the United States and Japan.

We didn't get any mention of CarPlay by Apple this week. I think the demo in Ferrari's video looks pretty good. I wish I had that car to review it.

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