Alex Guyot

45 posts on MacStories since January 2014

Alex has been writing for MacStories since 2013. These days he mostly covers Apple events and authors the annual MacStories watchOS reviews. Since graduating with a Computer Science degree from the University of Arizona in 2016, Alex has worked as a cloud engineer for the home automation company SmartThings. He is also the developer of Storybot, the MacStories Slack bot.

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iOS 10: Our Complete Overview

At yesterday morning's keynote event in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Apple took the wraps off of the latest revision of their mobile operating system. The tenth version of iOS opens up the system to a bold new world of integrations, APIs, and surprising customizability. It modernizes core apps that were growing long in the tooth, takes ambitious leaps forward with computer vision and contextual predictions, and enriches the user experience of such system tentpoles as notifications and the lock screen.

iOS 10 marks the beginning of a new era of iOS in many different ways. With a solid, mature core to build on, Apple is now feeling free to reach out into new areas that it has never before explored with its most popular operating system. We'll have to wait for real world testing and future betas to see if they've truly delivered, but the promises of iOS 10 are some of the most ambitious Apple has ever pursued with "the world's most advanced mobile operating system."

So let's take a look at the features Apple has planned for hundreds of millions of users next Fall.

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Netflix for iOS Updated with Picture in Picture Support

I'll give this one a "finally". It's been months since Netflix competitors like Hulu and HBO Now have been updated to support iOS 9's excellent picture in picture feature, and now the most popular streaming service has followed suit on the day after iOS 10 was announced.

Better late than never though, so I'm pleased that I'll be able to take advantage of PiP in another place after updating to the latest version of Netflix for iOS.

Now I can keep binging American Horror Story while collecting screenshots for my iOS 10 overview.


App Review Guidelines: The Comic Book

Well this is an odd one. Yesterday after the 2016 Apple Design Awards, Apple handed out to attendees a physical comic book titled "App Review Guidelines: The Comic Book". The comic is 36 pages long, and presumably is being used to try to drum up interest in reading through Apple's freshly rewritten App Store Review guidelines.

The comic book is available in PDF form here, and reportedly will be followed up by a motion comic book coming later. The motion comic will be available through the Madefire Comics & Motion Books app.

Apple is certainly starting to get creative in its efforts to get developers to read through the review guidelines before submitting apps. When you're reviewing over 100,000 apps per week, I guess you do what you can to try to stop time-consuming, guideline-breaking apps before they even get started.


You can follow @MacStoriesNet on Twitter or our WWDC 2016 news hub for updates.

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Safari 10 Will Disable Flash and Other Legacy Plug-Ins by Default

Announced this morning on WebKit.org, the new version of Safari shipping with macOS Sierra this Fall is going to disable legacy plug-ins such as Flash, Java, Silverlight, and QuickTime by default.

From the WebKit blog post:

The WebKit project in particular emphasizes security, performance, and battery life when evaluating and implementing web standards. These standards now include most of the functionality needed to support rich media and interactive experiences that used to require legacy plug-ins like Adobe Flash. When Safari 10 ships this fall, by default, Safari will behave as though common legacy plug-ins on users’ Macs are not installed.

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Apple Announces macOS Sierra

In yesterday's keynote to kick off this year's WWDC, Apple announced the newest version of their Mac operating system. The most obvious change here is in the name, which, for the first time in over a decade, no longer includes OS X. Instead, rebranded to match the rest of Apple's modern line of operating systems, their desktop version is now dubbed macOS.

The company has not, however, dropped the famous locations in California naming scheme, this year choosing to go with the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

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Apple Announces watchOS 3

Apple this morning announced watchOS 3, the next version of the Apple Watch's operating system, at their WWDC keynote event. A big focus of the release revolved around much needed speed improvements throughout the system, but the announcements also emphasized improvements in health and fitness, accessibility, and messaging. There was also a pretty large overhaul of some of the main functions of previous versions of watchOS, including a complete change in the features tied to the Watch's Side Button.

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tvOS Updates for Developers

Also included in today's tvOS announcements was the introduction of several new developer APIs for tvOS apps. These APIs are available for developers immediately through the tvOS developer beta, so users will hopefully be able to start seeing their benefits in various tvOS apps soon after the official release of the new operating system this Fall.

The biggest new features that developers will have access to are the following:

ReplayKit

This one may sound familiar because it came to iOS last year, but now tvOS is picking up the framework as well, which will allow developers to more easily build in support for live recordings of users' tvOS games. These gameplay videos can then be shared with others after the fact, but the API also allows gameplay to be streamed live while the user is currently playing the game. ReplayKit combined with Apple's (hopeful) new support for MFi game controller-only games, could start to bring more advanced games and attract more advanced gamers to the Apple TV system. Even more so because the new tvOS also includes support for up to 4 MFi Game Controllers to be connected and playing a game at the same time.

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In New tvOS, Apple Allows Game Developers to Require MFi Controllers

In Apple's updated Apple TV developer documentation for the new version of tvOS coming this Fall, one line in particular has stuck out to developers in the document about MFi Game Controllers:

When designing a tvOS game, you may require the use of an MFi game controller, but where possible you should also support the Siri Remote.

This line does need to be taken with a grain of salt since these are the preliminary release notes for the just-released beta, and therefore the rules could be changed at any time between now and the Fall. But with that said, it is striking that the line would make its way back into the documentation if it weren't going to be there to stay. I say "back" because similar language actually existed in the initial tvOS documentation last Fall, but was changed to reflect that under no circumstances would apps be allowed in the store unless they had some sort of support for the Siri Remote rather than solely supporting MFi controllers.

Polygon covered this topic last year, and discussed that Apple may in the future decide to loosen the reigns on this policy and let some MFi controller-only apps into the store.

We'll have to keep watching through the summer to see for the sure, but it looks like there's a new glimmer of hope that games with more advanced controls will be able to get into the Apple TV App Store without needing to neuter their control scheme to support a Remote that is not at all optimized for playing games.


You can follow @MacStoriesNet on Twitter or our WWDC 2016 news hub for updates.

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iOS 10 Beta Allows Most Built-In Apple Apps to be Deleted

Earlier today, TechCrunch reported that many of Apple's built-in apps were starting to show up as separate downloads in the App Store. One big implication of this is that it will allow Apple to update these apps independently of full iOS system updates.

With the iOS 10 beta out in the wild now though, and new support documentation for the OS posted from Apple, we can see that not only are those apps available in the App Store, but they are in fact completely removable from the system in iOS 10 (at least, they are in the initial beta).

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