This Week's Sponsor:

Kolide

Ensure that if a device isn’t secure it can’t access your apps.  It’s Device Trust for Okta.


Posts tagged with "iPadOS 17"

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 17.3 with Collaborative Playlists, Stolen Device Protection, New Black Unity Wallpaper, and More

Update: This story previously listed paying with Apple Pay as one of the actions protected with Stolen Device Protection on. Apple has since clarified in a Support document that paying with Apple Pay can still be performed using the iPhone passcode.

Today, Apple released iOS and iPadOS 17.3, the third major updates to the operating systems that launched in September and Federico reviewed on MacStories.

iOS and iPadOS 17.3 bring only a couple of major new features, including one that was previously expected to be released in iOS and iPadOS 17.2 (but was then delayed), a welcome new layer of protection and security for your Apple ID, and a set of new dynamic wallpapers.

Let’s jump in.

Read more


Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 17.2 with Journal App, Messages and Music Improvements, and More

iOS 17.2.

iOS 17.2.

Today, Apple released iOS and iPadOS 17.2, the second major updates to the operating systems that launched in September and I reviewed on MacStories.

iOS and iPadOS 17.2 revolve around two kinds of enhancements: there are a series of updates to built-in apps (mostly Messages, Music, and Camera) and various tweaks to widgets; then, there’s the brand new Journal app for iPhone, which aims to reinvent the practice of journaling for iOS users with a built-in solution that’s deeply integrated with the OS and apps.

We’re going to cover Journal with a standalone article on MacStories from the perspective of someone who’s been keeping a journal in Day One for several years. In this story, I’m going to focus on what else is new in iOS and iPadOS 17.2 and the different improvements you’ll find throughout the system.

Let’s dive in.

Read more


Using the iPad Pro as a Portable Monitor for My Nintendo Switch with Orion, a Capture Card, and a Battery Pack

Tears of the Kingdom on my iPad Pro.

Tears of the Kingdom on my iPad Pro.

Those who have been reading MacStories for a while know that I have a peculiar obsession for portable setups free of the constraints typically involved with working at a desk or playing games in front of a TV.

It’s not that I don’t want to have a desk or dislike my 65” OLED TV: it’s that I don’t want those contexts to be my only options when it comes to getting work done or playing videogames. This is why I’ve spent the better part of my career fine-tuning my iPad-first lifestyle and why I’m so excited at the prospect of a giant screen that can always be with me. Modularity, portability, and freedom from a desk or TV are the driving factors in everything I use or buy these days.

For these reasons, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I embraced the ability to use the iPad Pro as a portable monitor for videogame consoles thanks to UVC support. As I covered in my iPadOS 17 review, this feature was primarily conceived to let iPad users connect external webcams to their computers, but that hasn’t stopped developers from re-using the same underlying technology to create apps that allow you to display a video feed from any accessory connected via USB.

It’s a very intriguing proposition: the 12.9” iPad Pro has a gorgeous mini-LED display; what if you could use that to give yourself a little extra screen real estate when playing Super Mario Bros. Wonder or Tears of the Kingdom without having to pack a separate portable monitor with you?

In my review, I mentioned the Genki Studio app, which I used to play games with my Nintendo Switch and ROG Ally and output their video feeds to the iPad Pro’s display. Today, I want to explain how I took my setup a step further by enhancing the picture quality of the Nintendo Switch when viewed on the iPad Pro and, most importantly, how I created a fully-portable setup that allows me to play Switch games on the iPad Pro anywhere I am.

Read more



iOS 17.2 Beta’s Sticker Reactions Need a Different Approach

The first developer beta of iOS 17.2 was released earlier today, and among a variety of new features (I’ve been sharing some of the highlights on my Mastodon), there’s the highly anticipated expansion of Tapbacks with custom sticker reactions.

The problem is that, put simply, this feature just isn’t good enough in this first version of iOS 17.2. And since I’m always told to “file feedback early in the process to make sure things get seen”, and since blogging about iOS feature requests on my website makes me feel better than begrudgingly filing actual feedbacks about them, here we are.

Jason Snell, writing for Six Colors:

This new feature has no connection at all with the fun double-tap gesture that’s synonymous with Tapbacks. I didn’t expect stickers to be a peer to Apple’s classic collection of six Tapback icons, but I did sort of assume that at the very least, performing the Tapback gesture would also give you the option of choosing a sticker. (And the right thing for Apple to do would be to display recently used stickers alongside the Tapback icons.)

Instead, to send a sticker response you have to tap and hold on a message and then choose Add Sticker from the resulting contextual menu, then choose a sticker or emoji. It’s an extra step that really shouldn’t be necessary and makes stickers feel like an afterthought, which they apparently are.

I get why Apple doesn’t want to let users customize the default roster of “official” Tapbacks. iMessage is used by hundreds of millions of people every day, and they don’t want to overcomplicate an established feature with too many options. However, I think a much better compromise would be the following:

  • Align custom sticker reactions with regular Tapbacks in the message bubble so they don’t cover text;
  • Make the ‘Add Sticker’ button appear when you double-tap a message instead of requiring a long-press.

That’s it. I really like this feature, but the design isn’t quite there yet. Hopefully, there’s enough time (and willingness on Apple’s part) to change it.

Permalink

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 17.1 with New Apple Music Features, Small iPad Enhancements, and More

iOS 17.1.

iOS 17.1.

Today, Apple released iOS and iPadOS 17.1 – the first major updates to the operating systems that launched (and I reviewed) in September. I’ll cut to the chase: these are not big updates and don’t come with new emoji. Instead, iOS and iPadOS 17.1 bring a variety of previously-announced (and then delayed) features such as AirDrop over the Internet and new cover art templates in Music, but they don’t address the complete list of functionalities for this OS cycle that Apple originally announced last June.

Let’s take a look.

Read more


Widgle’s Four Photo-Based Widget Games Deliver Simple, Fun Interactive Diversions

Widgle is a collection of four simple puzzle games for the iPhone and iPad that integrate with your photos. As I mentioned in connection with Widgetsmith’s Tile game, interactive widgets’ system-imposed button and toggle limitation severely constrains the kinds of games that can be built as a widget, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be fun. Widgle’s four games, a tile sliding puzzle, a maze, a lights out-style game, and a matching game each come in small and large sizes.

Tile Slide (left) and Lights On (right).

Tile Slide (left) and Lights On (right).

The Tile Slide game uses a photo of your choosing, scrambles the tiles, and overlays numbers, which can optionally be turned off in the widget’s settings. There’s one free space, and by tapping tiles, you can try to put them back in the correct order, reassembling your image. There are four grid options, too, a couple of which are only available in the large version of the widget.

Lights On begins with one of your photos divided into a grid with some of the squares missing. Tapping on a square inverts the others around it, and with some careful poking, you can reassemble your entire photo so it includes no blanks. Like Tile Slide, there are four grid size options, with two exclusive to the large-sized widget.

Maze Master (left) and Match Up (right).

Maze Master (left) and Match Up (right).

Maze Master overlays directional arrows around the edges of the widget, so you can guide your character through a maze backed by one of your photos. There are three difficulty levels to choose from and six different emoji characters available.

Finally, Match Up starts with a grid of squares with question marks in their centers. Tap squares to reveal the hidden emoji underneath. Find a matching pair of emoji, and the squares reveal part of one of your photos.

As I mentioned at the top. Widgle’s games are very simple classics, but I’ve still enjoyed idly playing with them when I need a break. The inclusion of photos, which can be picked in the main Widgle app, makes each game feel more personal.

Widgle is available on the App Store as a free download with an In-App Purchase of $1.99 to customize the puzzle with your photos.


AirScrobble Greatly Expands Its Utility with Headphone Compatibility, Live Activity Support, and App Shortcuts

It’s time to take a brief break from widgets to bring you scrobbles. Scrobbling is Last.fm’s name for matching and logging the music to which you listen. The payoff of scrobbling is the in-depth statistics that Last.fm delivers monthly and annually to users. It’s also a great way to relive musical moments in your life and find music that you may not have in your library but that you may have heard while you’re out and about.

One of the best ways to scrobble on the iPhone and iPad is with AirScrobble, which has grown into a terrific all-around Last.fm utility. One of the app’s previous limitations, though, was that it only worked with music playing over a speaker. If you were using AirPods or other headphones, so the music couldn’t be matched via an iPhone or iPad’s microphone, you were out of luck. However, with the app’s latest release, you can now scrobble even while listening with headphones.

Scrobbling from Broadcasts.

Scrobbling from Broadcasts.

That alone is pretty great, but AirScrobble now works with any app that produces audio, too. Say you’re using Steve Troughton-Smith’s excellent Internet radio app Broadcasts to listen to your favorite college radio station. Now, AirScrobble can match the songs as you listen. The same goes for Reels you watch on Instagram, YouTube videos, and a lot more.

AirScrobble also includes Live Activity support. If you’ve started automatically scrobbling as you listen, the Live Activity expands when a song is recognized, offering an interactive button for manually scrobbling the song immediately.

AirScrobble's App Shortcuts, Manual Scrobble App Shortcut, and Live Activity on my Lock Screen.

AirScrobble’s App Shortcuts, Manual Scrobble App Shortcut, and Live Activity on my Lock Screen.

The app has added support for App Shortcuts, too. If you’re out at a restaurant and hear a song you don’t know and want to capture it, do a quick Spotlight search for ‘AirScrobble’ and pick the Match App Shortcut. There’s also a Manual Scrobble App Shortcut, which lets you search for the name of a song using the search field. Plus, there’s a Love Track App Shortcut for marking a track as one of your favorites.

I love this update to AirScrobble. It works in so many more situations now that headphones are supported, as well as other audio sources. The Live Activity makes it easy to scrobble while doing something else on your iPhone or iPad, too. If you’re a music lover and use Last.fm, check be sure to check out AirScrobble.

AirScrobble is available on the App Store as a free download. Some of the app’s features require a subscription.


Home Widget Unlocks HomeKit Device Control That Apple’s Home App Doesn’t Offer

You might have wondered what would become of widget-focused apps like Home Widget when Apple announced at WWDC that a Home widget was coming to iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma. I did too. But, even though the Home widget works well, it’s limited, leaving room for developers like Clément Marty to take their widgets to an entirely different level.

If you’re a home automation nerd, you’ll quickly run into the Home widget’s limitations. For instance, it’s great for toggling lights on and off, but it can’t dim your lights or change their color. Home Widget goes beyond the binary choice of on or off across a spectrum of features, making it indispensable for home automation fans.

Let’s see what it can do.

Read more