This week's sponsor

Daylite

Business Productivity App for Mac & iOS


Posts tagged with "iOS 10"

Tweetbot 4.5 Brings iOS 10 Updates, Profile Notes

Profile notes and slightly richer notifications in Tweetbot 4.5.

Profile notes and slightly richer notifications in Tweetbot 4.5.

Tapbots released Tweetbot 4.5 today with a few iOS 10 additions.

In the latest version, notifications are slightly richer: you won't be able to preview entire conversation or DM threads in a notification, but at least the sender's username and notification title will have a bold font for better visual separation. I would have liked to see even richer notifications with custom interfaces, and I also wonder if Tweetbot could use SiriKit's messaging intents to send DMs. Perhaps Tapbots will consider deeper iOS 10 enhancements in the future.

Also new in this version, you can now add notes to user profiles. According to Tapbots, the feature is intended to add a brief note to remember why you followed someone; personally, I think it's just as effective to remember why you don't want to follow someone without blocking them. User notes are private, they sync with iCloud, and they can be accessed from the gear menu on a user's profile.

Finally, Tweetbot 4.5 supports smoother scrolling thanks to iOS 10's performance improvements in this area. It's not always noticeable, but I'm glad Tapbots implemented this feature for iOS 10 devices.

Tweetbot 4.5 is available on the App Store.


iOS 10 Actionable Notifications, the Lock Screen, and 3D Touch

Junjie, developer of Due for iOS, on changes to the Lock screen and actionable notifications in iOS 10:

To my surprise, when users upgraded their iOS 9 devices to iOS 10 this week, I started receiving feedback that they were no longer able to snooze or complete their reminders from their Lock Screen. Many thought I’ve removed the feature from Due, or that there was a bug with Due in iOS 10. Of course, neither of which is the case.
[...]
Unlike iOS 8 and iOS 9, swiping a notification from right to left in iOS 10 no longer reveals the notification actions. Instead, depending on the device that you use, it now displays either View and Clear on non-3D Touch devices, or just Clear on 3D Touch devices.
[...]
So while users can now access all four notification actions in iOS 10, they need to go through an additional, unintuitive step of pressing the View button. However, for users with 3D Touch enabled phones like the iPhones 6s and 7, pressing firmly on the notification will reveal the notification actions menu.

I was talking about this with my girlfriend earlier today, and it's something I didn't consider in my review. For some reason, she can't use 3D Touch. Every time she presses on the screen, she ends up swiping or activating tap & hold accidentally. I don't know what it is about the way she grips the phone or touches the screen – we've tried every setting, and she just can't take advantage of 3D Touch in her daily iPhone usage. She ended up disabling 3D Touch altogether because it's useless to her.

Here's a problem, though: with iOS 10's notification design, this means she can't swipe on a notification and have instant access to actions. There's an extra step:

  1. Swipe notification on the Lock screen;
  2. Tap the new 'View' button;
  3. Tap actions in the expanded notification.

Step 2 is what people who don't use 3D Touch need to go through now, and it feels like a regression. I wish I had mentioned this in my story, but I didn't think of it because I use 3D Touch and pressing notifications is second nature to me.

Perhaps Apple could improve this by automatically expanding a notification with a long swipe. Instead of revealing two buttons – View and Clear – a long swipe to the left could trigger the View button, expand a notification, and avoid the additional tap required for non-3D Touch users in iOS 10.

Permalink

The iMessage App Store and Paid Stickers

Ortwin Gentz, one of the developers behind Where To, has noticed that the majority of iMessage apps and sticker packs in the top charts seem to be paid ones. He collected some numbers from the iMessage App Store and concluded:

The distribution of business models is even more interesting. In contrast to the iOS App Store where freemium titles dominate the top-grossing charts, the overwhelming revenue in the iMessage App Store comes from paid titles. This reminds me of the early days of the App Store where In App Purchase wasn’t even available.

Probably the #1 reason for this is the lack of IAP in no-code sticker packs. These sticker packs consist only of the actual artwork and are easy to create for designers who don’t want to code.

Currently, basic sticker packs – the ones that only require dropping a bunch of image files into Xcode – can't offer In-App Purchases. As soon as Apple offers an integrated solution to bring In-App Purchases to iMessage sticker packs without writing code, I have no doubt we'll see the iMessage App Store follow the "Free with In-App Purchases" model of the iOS App Store.

Unless Apple is deliberately pushing artists towards paid packs because they do not want to repeat what happened with the App Store? The perception of sticker packs right now reminds me of the early days of the App Store – that good work is worth paying for.

Permalink

How RAW Changes iPhone Photography

Ben McCarthy, writing for iMore:

Editing RAW files feels like a huge leap forward in terms of mobile photography: With iOS 10, the iPhone is evolving from a great camera for taking casual photos with into a capable professional tool. It still has plenty of limitations, but I suspect we've passed a tipping point.

But shooting while out and about is one thing. What about using the iPhone in a studio? I gathered together a couple of friends to do a little impromptu photoshoot to see how the iPhone would hold up.

Ben is the developer of Obscura, which I featured in my review yesterday because of its native RAW support on iOS 10. He makes some good points on the limitations and advantages of shooting RAW on iPhone.

Permalink

WhatsApp Adds Siri and CallKit Integration for iOS 10

CallKit and Siri in the latest WhatsApp update.

CallKit and Siri in the latest WhatsApp update.

There are two iOS 10 features I wish I could have covered with more examples in my review: SiriKit and CallKit. It was tricky to get my hands on Siri-enabled apps this summer (I only tested one); I couldn't try any CallKit app.

WhatsApp didn't miss the opportunity to support the latest version of iOS with new features ready at launch this time. With an update released today, WhatsApp has brought Siri integration to send messages and CallKit support to elevate VoIP calls to a native experience on iOS 10.

I've been playing with both features tonight, and they work just as well as Apple advertised. You can ask Siri to send messages on WhatsApp and it'll show you a preview of the message with WhatsApp's UI before sending it. It's fast and it works from anywhere. Same for CallKit: WhatsApp calls take over the Home screen and Lock screen with the regular interface of phone calls on the iPhone – they're not basic push notifications anymore.

You can even add a button to start a WhatsApp call to a person's contact card (try to long-tap the 'Call' button and you'll see) or to your Phone's Favorites. WhatsApp calls feel like part of iOS now thanks to CallKit and Intents – and other VoIP services can take advantage of the framework, too.

I had a rough idea of how Siri would work in everyday scenarios (I think it's going to be a great addition to messaging apps on iOS), but I've been genuinely impressed by CallKit and contact extensibility so far.


David Smith’s iOS 10 and watchOS 3 App Updates

I'm a fan of David Smith's apps for the Apple Watch. He gets what makes an app great on the Watch, and his focus on health and fitness resonates with me. David shipped some solid iOS 10 and watchOS 3 updates today – but Background Refresh in Sleep++ is my favorite:

Sleep++ has been updated to take advantage of the new Background Refresh mechanism in watchOS 3. Now rather than performing all of the sleep analysis in the morning when you wake up, instead it is able to analyze your night while you are sleeping. So when you wake up only the last few minutes of the night need to be processed. The end result of this is that you should barely seen the Analyzing Night progress dialog any more.

I have a feeling that Background Refresh will make me re-evaluate several Watch apps I stopped using (except David's – one of the very few apps on my Watch).

Permalink

Messages Apps and Sticker Packs Roundup

Messages started life as an innovative app that unified SMS with Apple’s own free iMessage service when it was introduced five years ago. As time passed, Messages fell behind many of its competitors like Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, LINE, WeChat, and others.

With the introduction of iOS 10, Apple has made up substantial ground with Messages while upholding its commitment to customer privacy. Few third-party developers would have imagined even a couple of years ago that Apple would open up one of its most important first-party apps to them, but that is precisely what Apple has done with iOS 10.

In the process of unlocking Messages, Apple has created a whole ecosystem of apps and sticker packs with their own dedicated store built right into Messages. Developers immediately sensed an opportunity and an all-new land rush is in full swing.

Over recent weeks, Federico and I have tested dozens of iMessage apps and sticker packs, exchanged hundreds of stickers, made interactive to-do lists, played games, edited photos, and much, much more. Some of the things we’ve tried are highlighted in Federico’s iOS 10 review to illustrate particular aspects of the Messages app, but we’ve seen so many interesting apps and stickers, we wanted to share them with readers in one place.

Read more


Apple News in iOS 10: Greatly Improved

Apple News: Greatly Improved

Apple News launched last year in iOS 9, and despite my early enthusiasm, I found the experience at launch to be deeply flawed and disappointing. However, in the past twelve months I have been pleasantly surprised by a number of improvements that Apple has made to News. These improvements go a long way in addressing nearly all of my major complaints about News from last year.

Shortly after completing my review last year, I stopped using News regularly – only checking in occasionally. But since installing the iOS 10 beta in late June I decided to give News another go, and this time, I'm finding it both enjoyable and useful.

Read more


iOS 10 Refines the CarPlay Experience

CarPlay is a window into iOS – an alternate UI for your iPhone designed to limit distractions as you drive. As such, most of the changes to CarPlay are simply a reflection of iOS 10. Nonetheless, iOS 10 brings a handful of refinements that are unique to the CarPlay interface along with iOS 10 compatibility.

Read more