Posts in news

Apple Announces WWDC 2014: Kicks Off June 2

Apple has announced the official dates for WWDC 2014. The developer event kicks off in San Francisco on June 2 and runs through June 6. This year, Apple will give tickets to attendees through a random selection system (effectively, a lottery). Developers will be able to apply today through Monday, April 7 at 10 AM PDT, and they will know their status by Monday, April 7 at 5 PM PDT. Last year, Apple pre-announced the sale of tickets, which caused issues on the company’s website when the tickets went on sale due to the high amount of traffic, in which tickets were still sold out in less than two minutes. Read more


TextExpander touch Updated for iOS 7 with Redesign, Group and Snippet Management Improvements

TextExpander touch

TextExpander touch

TextExpander touch, Smile’s snippet expansion utility for iOS, has been updated today to version 2.5, bringing a redesign for iOS 7 with new features and tweaks made possible by the new OS. TextExpander allows users to configure abbreviations that are expanded into longer, commonly-used strings of text in third-party apps that have added support for the TextExpander touch SDK; unlike Apple’s own abbreviation feature, TextExpander supports advanced options such as macros, clipboard integration, and fill-in snippets.

Aside from an expected visual update, TextExpander touch 2.5 makes several improvements to group and snippet management: groups can be reordered, and a new detail view combines group renaming with the ability to disable snippet expansion for an entire group of snippets. In groups, individual snippets can be moved to a different group with a dedicated Move button, which is available in the bottom toolbar alongside a new preview option to see what an expanded snippet will look like. Outdated snippet organization had long been one of the app’s popular shortcomings, and the improvements in version 2.5 make creating, moving, and sharing snippets faster and easier.

When sharing a snippet, TextExpander touch now uses iOS’ default share sheet with buttons to copy or share a snippet via configured services. Smile also added external keyboard shortcut support to adjust font size (the app integrates with iOS’ Dynamic Type now), create new snippets/groups/notes, and toggle between Notes and Groups in the main view.

In December, Smile was forced to change how TextExpander touch shared snippets with other iOS apps following a rejection from Apple; the company released an updated SDK and app that abandoned the Reminders-based snippet sharing solution in favor of a manual sharing process based on x-callback-url. Since then, third-party developers have been updating their TextExpander-compatible apps to the new SDK, which requires users to share and update snippets manually.

TextExpander touch 2.5 is available on the App Store.


Safari 7.0.3 Brings New Notifications Preference, Support for Generic Top-Level Domains, Fixes

Following the rollout of updates to iWork for iOS, OS X, and iCloud.com, Apple released version 7.0.3 of its Safari browser today. The update, available in Software Update through the Mac App Store, brings a new preference in the app’s Notifications settings that allows users to turn off prompts for website notifications (Note: MacStories uses Safari push notifications). In previous versions of Safari, users could only allow or deny notifications after interacting with a prompt that asked for permissions to display push notifications; now, Safari can skip that prompt entirely if the preference is turned off.

Version 7.0.3 also adds support for new generic top-level domains (which include new entries such as .ceo, .sexy, and .shop) that are loaded as websites by Safari; previously, Safari couldn’t recognize the recently launched generic top-level domains, and redirected them to standard web searches.

In terms of bug fixes, Safari 7.0.3 improves credit card autofill, fixes a bug that could stop website notifications from being displayed, and resolves an address bar bug that loaded webpages or web searches before pressing the Return key.

Safari 7.0.3 is available in Software Update.


Apple Updates iWork Suite with Design Tweaks, New Features, Sharing Improvements

In a series of updates rolled out today across iCloud.com, the App Store, and the Mac App Store, Apple updated its iWork suite of apps with design changes in the document editor, new templates, improved Retina display support, and several individual enhancements to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

On iCloud.com, the three web apps (which were last updated in January) have all received improved Retina display support and the possibility of opening documents directly from links in iCloud Mail. The document editor’s design has been refreshed, and documents shared from iCloud.com can now be set to a view-only mode that won’t allow recipients to edit them; previously, shared documents could always be edited by multiple users with access to a document’s link.

Apple brought specific changes to each web app as well, such as improved popup menu support in Numbers and new templates, better text wrap, and the possibility to edit charts in imported documents in Pages. Read more


Installing Custom Fonts On iOS

A new app called AnyFont and developed by Florian Schimanke allows you to install custom fonts on iOS. By leveraging iOS 7′s capability of installing fonts through a configuration profile (Apple’s documentation here), AnyFont can take fonts as standard TTF and OTF files from the app’s own storage and install them on iOS so other apps such as Apple’s iWork suite will be able to use them in the font picker.

I was able to test the app (which was first covered by TUAW in early March) and talk to Schimanke, who confirmed that AnyFont “does exactly what you could do on a Mac with the Apple Configurator”; while installing a custom configuration profile may raise security concerns, he added that it’s possible to look at the contents of the profile and see that the one created by AnyFont contains only font files that the user wants to install.

Read more



Apple Announces Q2 2014 Conference Call For April 23

Apple’s second quarter earnings report and conference call will take place on April 23rd, 2014, according to an Investor Relations update on Apple’s website first noted by setteBIT. Apple will provide a live audio webcast of the event.

Apple plans to conduct a conference call to discuss financial results of its second fiscal quarter on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET.

In the first quarter of 2014, Apple posted revenue of $57.6 billion and sold 26 million iPads, 51 million iPhones, and 4.8 million Macs, earning a quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion.

For Q2 2014, Apple set its guidance at revenue between $42 billion and $44 billion, with gross margin between 37 percent and 38 percent. Apple didn’t release major new products in the second quarter, with the company expected to roll out new entries in the iPhone and iPad lines later this year. The second quarter will provide insight into the company’s post-holiday sales following a record-breaking first quarter; in early March, Apple announced that CFO Peter Oppenheimer will retire at the end of September 2014. During the quarter, Apple launched a cheaper version of the iPhone 5c in selected markets, retired the iPad 2, and relaunched the iPad 4 with a Lightning connector. Apple also released the first major update to iOS 7, iOS 7.1, six months after the OS’ debut.

In the year-ago quarter, Apple posted revenue of $43.6 billion. The company sold 19.5 million iPads, 37.4 million iPhones, and ”just under” 4 million Macs, earning a quarterly net profit of $9.5 billion.

We will provide live updates from the conference call on our site’s homepage on April 23rd starting at 2 PM PT.


Google Turns Google Maps App Into Pokémon Catcher for April Fools’ Day

For this year’s April Fools’ Day, Google has decided to turn its Google Maps app for iOS and Android into a Pokémon experience by letting users catch 150 Pokémon to become Pokémon Masters and complete a Pokédex inside the app. The feature, called Pokémon Challenge and announced in a promo video that shows augmented reality functionalities and virtual monsters captured using a phone’s camera, is actually based on Pokémon characters laid on top of Google Maps’ traditional view.

Dozens of wild Pokémon have taken up residence on streets, amidst forests and atop mountains throughout Google Maps.

To catch ‘em all, grab your Poké Ball and the newest version of Google Maps for iPhone or Android. Then tap the search bar, “press start,” and begin your quest.

Once enabled, the Pokémon Challenge will turn the app into a an experience aimed at exploring maps to find Nintendo’s monsters scattered across the globe. The locations of Pokémon aren’t documented anywhere yet, and the app will keep track of a user’s progress in catching Pokémon with a built-in Pokédex that displays additional details for each creature.

Google’s April Fools’ joke goes as far as having a Pokémon Lab available at the CERN in Geneva (and others at Google Japan and Mountain View) and Poké balls (the tools used to catch monsters in Nintendo’s franchise) laid on top of maps in the location where a Pokémon was previously caught.

Google isn’t new to April Fools’ jokes, but this year the company hasn’t simply released a fake announcement or promo video — rather, the Pokémon Challenge is a full mini-game available inside the Maps app for iOS and Android with information about Pokémon and sharing features for players.

The Pokémon Challenge is available in Google Maps for iOS, and it doesn’t require an app update from the App Store.

Read more


iCab Browser Updated for iOS 7, Adds Keyboard Shortcuts and Multi-User Support

iCab has long been one of the most powerful third-party browsers for iOS, pioneering features such as extensive integration with x-callback-url for automation, sync through iCloud and Dropbox for bookmarks and a proprietary Reading List, and integration with many third-party services for read-later and bookmarking functionalities.

Last week, iCab was updated to version 8.0, which has brought a redesign for iOS 7 and a reorganization of the app’s Settings; according to developer Alexander Clauss, the app has also been completely rewritten, resulting in native support for 64-bit devices, background downloads (iCab’s download manager is one of the app’s marquee features), and overall faster performance under iOS 7.

Read more


Facebook Messenger 4.0 Adds Group Creation, Message Forwarding

Facebook’s Messenger app for iPhone was updated to version 4.0 earlier today, adding support for group creation and a “Forward” feature for individual messages reminiscent of the same option in Apple’s Messages app.

Groups can be created in the dedicated Groups section of the app, which provides a separate area to list all ongoing groups as cards; group conversations are also listed in the main Recent section. Groups can be created by picking contacts and choosing a group photo, and once created in Messenger they will sync with Facebook’s Messages view on the web and other clients. A minor addition to the chat experience is the Forward button, which can be accessed by tapping & holding an individual message in a conversation.

Facebook Messenger, first launched in 2011, is the company’s standalone chat app focused on conversations and photo/location sharing. Version 4.0 is available (still only for iPhone and iPod touch) on the App Store.