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Former Apple Executives Forstall, Fadell, and Christie Discuss Creation of Original iPhone’s Interface and More

The ten-year anniversary of the original iPhone is nearing, and stories about the development of the original iPhone, released in 2017, are beginning to appear around the web.

Former Apple Executives Forstall, Fadell, and Christie Discuss Creation of Original iPhone's Interface and More

The Wall Street Journal shared on Sunday shared a video, where former Apple executives Scott Forstall, Tony Fadell and Greg Christie recall the development of the original handset, especially the touchscreen interface.

Tony Fadell discussed when he saw the first demo of the iPhone’s touchscreen. Until that point, the development team was looking at was to make the iPod’s click wheel interface work for the new device.

“Steve goes, “Come over here I need to show you something.” So he walked me into the room…and it was basically like a ping pong table sized demo with a projector that was projecting a Mac interface on it. And you could use your whole hand and you could touch different things on it, like it was a big big Mac.

It was literally a ping pong sized multi-touch display. And he goes, “I think this is gonna solve our problem.”

Greg Christie talks about the first time Jobs saw the new user interface for the iPhone:

The first time he saw it, He was completely silent. He didn’t say a thing and he didn’t gesture. He didn’t ask a question. He sat back and said, ‘Show me it again.’ So we go through the whole thing again and Steve is pretty much blown away by the demonization. So our reward for doing well on that demonstration to was to kill ourselves over the next two and a half years.

A troublesome portion of the device’s development was the virtual keyboard. Original versions of the on-screen keyboard simply frustrated users so much they would simply “give up” when attempting a simple task such as creating an e-mail.

The ten-minute WSJ video, entitled “How The iPhone Was Born: Inside Stories of Missteps and Triumphs,” is worth a full view, and can be seen above in its entirety.

Satellite time-lapse chronicles nearly two years of Apple Park construction progress

Apple Park began construction in 2014. A new time-lapse video based on high-resolution photos by satellite imaging provider Planet Labs has condensed nearly two years of work on the main ring-shaped building in an 18-second time-lapse video. Uploaded Tuesday to Planet Labs’ YouTube channel, the clip was shared yesterday by Business Insider.

Aside from the main ring-shaped building, the video also depicts construction progress on Apple’s twin research and development buildings, the 1,000-seat Steve Jobs Theater, a wellness facility for employees and more.

For those wondering, they used the high-resolution imaging SkySats constellation to capture the construction of Apple’s new Cupertino campus.

If the Planet Labs name rings familiar to you, that’s because Google recently sold its previously acquired satellite-imaging startup Skybox Imaging to Planet Labs.

The search giant acquired Skybox Imaging in 2014 for a reported $500 million.

That startup was founded by Michael Trela, who was a spacecraft engineer at John Hopkins University, and John Fenwick, who served in the U.S. Air Force. Both men joined Apple this April following Planet Labs’ acquisition of Skybox from Google.

As part of the acquisition, Planet Labs now has seven satellites and plans to sell high-resolution aerial imagery starting next year.

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Hands-on with watchOS 4: pausing workouts in the background, Toy Story faces & more

Yesterday was a big day as Apple seeded a bunch of new betas to its developers. Earlier this morning, we posted a nicely done hands-on video walkthrough of the new features and changes in iOS 11 beta 2, but what about the latest watchOS 4 beta?

Your wish is our contributor Andrew O’Hara’s command!

Andrew put together a quick video demonstration of everything new in the latest beta of watchOS 4. Keep in mind that watchOS 4 beta 2 is not as feature-packed as a second beta of iOS 11, but there’s still plenty to get excited about.

Watch Andrew’s video highlighting all the new stuff and important changes in beta 2.

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Aside from the gorgeously animated characters on the new Toy Story watch face, this beta lets you press the Side button and the Digital Crown simultaneously in order to quickly pause an active workout session, even if the Workout app is running in the background.

This is a very compelling feature for those who use their watch for swimming. Prior to watchOS 4, pausing a workout while swimming first required you to turn the Digital Crown to expel the water from the speaker. Then you had to swipe on the Workout app’s screen to reveal the session controls, among them the Pause button.

The problem is, a wet Apple Watch display tends to behave erratically so getting to that screen while in water was difficult. With the new shortcut, this particular pain point goes away.

Haptics now play for frontmost apps in watchOS 4 beta 2, but some languages are unavailable for Dictation, including the newly released Shanghainese dictation.

New features and changes

Here are the new features and important changes in watchOS 4 beta 2.

  • Nicely animated Toy Story watch face
  • Breathe notifications now respect your custom settings
  • Location-based automation triggers now work if triggered from the alert on Apple Watch
  • Pressing the Side Button and Digital Crown pauses an active workout session even if the Workout app is not in the foreground
  • SiriKit requests no longer fail with a “Sorry I can’t do that” error.
  • watchOS apps from TestFlight or the App Store now work with SiriKit
  • Siri may not play music that has been synced to Apple Watch
  • Music tracks now play from and sync to Apple Watch (Apple Watch must be on its charger for Music tracks to sync and Love/Dislike options are currently missing for locally synced music on your watch)

Aside from Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear, the new Toy Story watch face in the second beta provides other animated characters, like Ham, Rex and Bullseye.

A separate video from Andrew shows off almost all the character animations available in the new Toy Story watch face, including additional customizations.

That’s all, folks!

As we conclude our tour of watchOS 4 beta 2, we’d like to ask you to share any new feature discoveries of your own with fellow readers by posting them in the comment section.

You can also shoot us your findings via [email protected].

What’s your favorite new feature in watchOS 4 beta 2, and why?

"Hands-on with watchOS 4: pausing workouts in the background, Toy Story faces & more" is an article by
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Hands-on with iOS 11 beta 2: DND While Driving and other new features, changes & fixes

Apple (somewhat surprisingly) dropped the second beta of iOS 11 to developers on Wednesday with a myriad of changes and bug fixes. While there doesn’t seem to be a huge number of user-facing enhancements, there are still quite a few notable changes and new features in this beta.

A large number of prominent bugs have been fixed that have been plaguing users, like crashing when deleting a voicemail, manual screen brightness not staying set, 3D Touch on phone numbers and addresses not working.

Unfortunately, with all of those bug fixes are several new bugs and known issues.

For instance, an SOS alert may still be sent even though the user cancelled it. This is a good reminder this is an early developer beta that should only be run on secondary devices.

As for the new features, we have the initial implementation of the much touted Do Not Disturb While Driving mode that will lock your phone as well as send a custom auto-reply (customizable in Settings → Do Not Disturb) should someone text you.

Control Center can now be disabled inside of applications, like on prior iOS editions.  And far from last, the Files app now has started to show external locations like Google Drive and Box.

New features and changes

This is what you probably wanted to know about iOS 11 beta 2.

  • CarPlay now has lane guidance in Maps
  • Smaller speed in Maps
  • To edit/add filters in Photos you now tap the edit button in the top right corner instead of the sliders icon
  • Now Playing widget has been tweaked
  • New phone placeholder icon when no album artwork present in Now Playing widget
  • Audio source switcher is now available on Lock screen
  • New orange color for the new Echo effect in Messages
  • Do Not Disturb While Driving is enabled with extra options in Settings
  • Control Center can be turned on or off while in apps
  • New search options within Apple Music
  • You can now select multiple items in Photos
  • Bluetooth widget now works the same as Wi-Fi: instead of turning off, it will just disconnect from whatever is connected to it
  • Notification Center pull down has a gradual blur
  • New Share sheet extension: Save to Files app
  • Safari has new experimental features in Settings
  • Dictation is now available in Hindi

Take a look at our hands-on video to see all of these new features and more in action.

And here’s a quick overview of the most important fixes.

Bug fixes

  • 3D Touch data detectors are now working for phone numbers, addresses, etc.
  • Screen brightness stays at set level
  • YouTube search bar has returned
  • More stable Bluetooth connections (Dexcom)
  • Android Migration now works as intended
  • Crashing when deleting voicemails is fixed
  • Lock screen no longer rotates
  • Long exposure photos are now higher quality than in first beta

Wrapping it all up

As we conclude our tour of all the changes, fixes, improvements and new features in iOS 11 beta 2, feel free to tell us about your own discoveries and observations in comments or via [email protected].

What’s your favorite change in iOS 11 beta 2 thus far, and why?

"Hands-on with iOS 11 beta 2: DND While Driving and other new features, changes & fixes" is an article by
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Hands-on with beautifully animated Toy Story faces in watchOS 4

Aside from bringing more intelligence and fitness features to Apple Watch, the new watchOS 4 software includes a bunch of beautifully animated Toy Story faces. Not unlike the existing Mickey and Minnie Mouse watch faces, the Toy Story ones bring to life popular Pixar characters including Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear, Ham, Rex and Bullseye.

Our own Andrew O’Hara did a quick video showing off almost all the character animations available in the new Toy Story watch faces in watchOS 4, including additional customizations.

Give the video a quick watch, then meet us in comments.

watchOS 4 packs in other new watch faces.

Kaleidoscope, for instance, turns static images into mesmerizing patterns and the new Siri watch face uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to display the information users need most throughout the day.

ROUNDUP: 60+ new features in watchOS 4

Plus, you have new complications for your watch faces, including Now Playing and Apple News.

These new watch faces, complications and other features all require watchOS 4, a free upgrade for all Apple Watch users later this year.

Are you excited for the new Toy Story-themdd faces for your Apple Watch? Share in the comments section below!

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