This week on AppStories, John interviews Federico about the all-new iPad Air. Federico explains why the new iPad Air is Apple’s most forward-looking iPad that stands at the intersection of the iPad Pro line and the rest of the company’s other iPads, and covers every aspect of the hardware, design, and differences compared to other models, along with practical advice on who should consider buying the new iPad Air.
Pro travel photographer Austin Mann has put the iPhone 12 Pro through its paces in Glacier National Park, Montana. You won’t want to miss the full selection of images shot by Mann who concentrated his testing on the low-light performance of the iPhone 12 Pro’s improved Wide lens, the addition of Night mode to the Ultra Wide lens, Smart HDR 3, and low-light portrait mode photos that take advantage of the Pro’s new LiDAR sensor for autofocus.
Mann also delves into the Camera app’s settings to reveal new controls provided to photographers. My favorite is the setting that allows the exposure settings to be preserved between shots. As Mann explains:
I’m absolutely thrilled about this new (and hardly talked about) feature. We now have true exposure adjustment that doesn’t revert back to auto mode every time a pictured is captured.
This adjustment remains even when you switch between .5x, 1x, and 2x lenses, or when switching modes. Even if you lock your iPhone and come back to it later, it still remembers your exposure settings. This is much more like working with a traditional manual camera and I love it.
Mann’s post includes other compelling additions to the Camera app’s settings as well as beautiful shots that do a fantastic job of demonstrating this year’s camera advances. What I’m most I’m most eager to see, though, what Mann thinks of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which has what promises to be significantly better hardware than the iPhone 12 Pro.
This week on AppStories, we dig into the latest Apple event to uncover new features and innovations coming to the Home app, Siri, and mobile photography.
This week on AppStories, we dive into Federico’s annual iOS and iPadOS review to look at big picture trends like Compact UI along with the changes to iPadOS, the Apple Pencil’s new Scribble feature, and Shortcuts.
As announced at WWDC, Apple has expanded its modern maps to the United Kingdom and Ireland. As usual, Justin O’Beirne has begun documenting the changes on his blog with GIFs and charts cataloging the differences.
Apple’s ninth Maps data update is its first outside the US and covers all of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Although the update represents one of the smaller additions by land area, it’s the second-largest in terms of the total population and population density.
As with previous updates, O’Beirne’s GIFs do a terrific job visualizing the changes with examples from urban areas like London, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Dublin, along with places like Stonehenge, Loch Ness, Wales, and the Cliffs of Moher. The new maps are a clear improvement with more clearly defined green spaces, detailed landmarks, and other improvements.
Be sure to visit O’Beirne’s website for his complete set of GIFs, charts, and ongoing updates.
It’s become something of a tradition for Apple to include new emoji in one of the early point releases to a major iOS and iPadOS release. Like last year, the new emoji are coming in the second major update to iOS and iPadOS. This year, though, the new emoji look like they will make it into the first released version of macOS Big Sur because they are included in beta 9 of macOS too.
In July, Apple shared some of the designs for its emoji based on the Unicode Consortium’s specifications for Unicode 13.0. Today, as detailed by Emojipedia, iOS and iPadOS 14.2, beta 2 were released and include Apple’s full set of upcoming emoji. There are 66 in total, not counting every possible variant.
Designs not revealed by Apple earlier this summer include:
- Smiling Face with Tear
- Disguised Face
- Gender variations for people wearing a tuxedo and veil
The release also includes four realistic bugs and an abstract depiction of a hug that I expect to be a highlight of this year’s Jeremys.
Earlier this month, the Unicode Consortium approved Unicode 13.1, another set of emoji specifications that are expected to be adopted by Apple sometime in 2021.
For the full details on the emoji unveiled today, don’t miss Jeremy Burge’s post on Emojipedia.org.
Jason Snell at Six Colors, providing some historical context for the current wave of iOS 14 Home Screen customization:
The Mac has a long history of customization. When I became a Mac user in the early 90s, it was de rigueur to give your Mac hard drive a name and a custom icon. Ideally, you had a custom wallpaper pattern or image, too. Apps like SoundMaster let you set custom sounds for various actions. The list went on and on. Your Mac felt like home—and like no one else’s.
What’s more surprising is that Apple was so slow in bringing real customization to the iPhone home screen. If adding widgets to iOS 14 has caused enormous burst of creativity, it’s only because all that desire had built up over years and years with very little outlet.
This is not a surprise. This is not the effect of young whippersnappers raised on social media wanting to do goofy things with their phones. Users of computer platforms have wanted to customize and personalize for decades.
Lots of people are having lots of fun making all kinds of personalized Home Screens and even themed ones. This is made possible by a combination of iOS 14, app launchers configured through Shortcuts with custom icons, and a new crop of widget creation apps.
These Home Screen designs may not be for everyone, but that’s kind of the point: they’re not for everyone, they’re built by and for individual users. Let’s celebrate that creativity, and hope Apple provides better tools for this kind of customization in the future.
This week on AppStories, we conclude the MacStories Summer OS Preview Series by interviewing designer Michael Flarup about Mac iconography, the design of Mac Catalyst apps, content-focused design on the iPad, augmented reality, and more.
This week on AppStories, we dig into the details of Apple’s new App Review Guidelines, which address game streaming services, advertising, ‘reader apps,’ and more.