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Apple’s WWDC App Updated With Bug Fixes and Handoff Support

Apple today updated its official WWDC app to version 6.0.2, introducing a handful of bug fixes and bringing Handoff support for the app for the first time.

With Handoff, you can begin watching a video in the WWDC app and continue it on another iOS device or in the Safari browser on a Mac by tapping the Handoff icon as you would with any other Handoff interaction.

Along with Handoff support, the app introduces improved navigation on the Apple TV when swiping up and down, it makes sure previously downloaded videos remain available when switching between HD and SD, and it fixes an issue that caused previously downloaded videos to be lost when upgrading.

Apple's WWDC app is the official app for the Worldwide Developers Conference. It houses all of the WWDC videos from sessions that have been conducted over the years and allows them to be streamed on iOS devices and the Apple TV.

During conferences, it also provides times for sessions and labs, indoor event mapping, full schedules, and important news updates.

The WWDC app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tags: App Store, WWDC

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WWDC app gains Handoff support, better Apple TV navigation & more

Apple’s official WWDC app for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV was updated Friday with several new features, including support for the company’s Handoff technology allowing you to easily move between iOS devices and Safari on macOS.... Read the rest of this post here

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Apple Reminds Developers About 64-Bit Requirement for iOS and Mac Apps, Releases WWDC 2017 Transcripts

Apple today updated its developer news site to remind developers about 64-bit requirements for both Mac and iOS apps.

Apple has required all new iOS apps and app updates submitted to the iOS App Store to support 64-bit since June of 2015. Since then, Apple has begun phasing out support for 32-bit apps, and plans to stop supporting them all together with iOS 11.

While Apple has enforced 64-bit support for several years, there are still a number of older iOS apps that have not been updated since 2015 but remain in use. When attempting to open a 32-bit app on iOS 11, it will not run and users will see a popup that says "The developer of this app needs to update it to work with iOS 11."
As a reminder, new iOS apps and updates submitted to the App Store must support 64-bit. Support for 32-bit apps is not available in iOS 11 and all 32-bit apps previously installed on a user's device will not launch. If you haven't updated your app on the App Store to support 64-bit, we recommend submitting an update so your users can continue to run your apps on iOS 11, which will be in the hands of hundreds of millions of customers this fall.
At WWDC, Apple announced plans to start phasing out 32-bit Mac App Store apps as well. Starting in January of 2018, Apple will require all new Mac apps submitted to the Mac App Store to support 64-bit, and all existing apps must implement support by June of 2018. According to Apple, macOS High Sierra will be the last version of macOS that will support 32-bit apps "without compromise."
At WWDC 2017, we announced new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must support 64-bit starting January 2018, and Mac app updates and existing apps must support 64-bit starting June 2018. If you distribute your apps outside the Mac App Store, we highly recommend distributing 64-bit binaries to make sure your users can continue to run your apps on future versions of macOS. macOS High Sierra will be the last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromise.
When phasing out 32-bit apps on iOS devices, Apple gave both end users and developers ample notice and several warnings, and the company plans to follow the same path as it phases out 32-bit Mac apps.

Along with reminding developers about its app requirements, Apple today also announced the availability of transcripts for all of its WWDC 2017 videos, making it easier for users to find and share specific information that was covered at the event. Transcripts can be searched by keyword, with those keywords linked to the specific times when they were mentioned.

Apple's session videos cover a wide range of topics, including Core ML, ARKit, Metal 2, Drag and Drop, Swift, Touch Bar, CareKit, tvOS, and much, much more.

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Apple’s iPad strategy is finally stupendously watertight

Rome was famously not built in a day. And we know now that at Apple, the iPad line-up was not intuitively streamlined until WWDC 2017. Factoring out the formative years of iPad shortly after its birth in 2010, too many incremental releases (e.g. iPad 3 to iPad 4 in the same year of 2012, also iPad Mini) and too much tinkering with suffixes in the name (Air, Pro, Mini, blank) had diluted and complicated the iPad brand, so much so that large numbers of customers must have struggled to stay on top of what’s the latest tablet product on Apple’s shelves.

By the same token, even if some customers were in the know about what the factual successor to their beloved iPad Air 2 is, most would understandably be hard pressed to remember which of Apple’s iPads is the most or least powerful in the mix, or how they all compare to each other in terms of pricing. That is of course besides all the other important product specifications (camera, Apple Pencil compatibility, etc.) every informed customer should be able to easily grasp for each iPad available, before ultimately pouncing for the most suitable choice. And regrettably up until mid 2017, Apple has not made any of that easy for us.

I would in fact go further and lament that it’s been a sticky mess, lacking direction and – more reprehensibly – common sense.

Inconsistencies left right and center

I’m not going to bore you for long with the most questionable decisions of the past, such as the counterintuitive marketing language used between the ‘new iPad’ (iPad 3), the ‘iPad with Retina Display’ (iPad 4) and the subsequent iPad Air, or instances where iPad Minis eclipsed their bigger brothers in specs or numbers.

However what these examples do underscore is that the most recent case of Apple not being able to draw clear, differentiating lines between their different iPad categories is on no account unprecedented. Just consider this: not long ago, in March to be exact, Apple released their ‘new’ 9.7-inch iPad (no suffix) to a market until then sporting the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 and the 9.7” iPad Pro. With that, prospects were asked to make sense of three (to the naked eye) identically looking iPads, all of which had a unique marketing slant and story to tell.

Add the iPad Mini 4 and the super sized 12.9” iPad Pro to the equation and it’s easy to see how Apple could have really dropped the ball at WWDC ’17 by adding insult to injury and introducing yet another brand new iPad, the smashing 10.5” iPad Pro. Thankfully, they did just about the opposite.

When all of a sudden everything stacks up

Instead of presenting a historically inflated iPad line up, the 10.5-inch reveal was preceded by some serious purging actions behind the scenes. The result is beautiful, not just because the 9.7” ambiguity has been completely eliminated.

What’s more striking is that customers are now dealing with three iPad classes (Pro, Normal, Mini) and accordingly unique size offers for all three, unique prices for all three and even uniquely capable chips for all three. All criteria is arranged in an entirely intuitive order, namely descending from bigger to smaller, from more expensive to cheaper, from more powerful to more economic, in short: from Pro to Mini. It’s like Apple themselves got tired of the fuzzy product lines and decided to do a full one-eighty.

What you see is what you get now, meaning even the less techy customer is going to be able to remember that the big Pro iPads rock the most powerful chips (A10X) followed by the medium sized normal iPad (A9), which in turn has the lead over the physically smallest iPad Mini (A8). Gone are the days of an awkward A9X chip in the dead on arrival 9.7” iPad Pro, or other illogical decisions such as equipping one iPad Pro with a 12MP rear camera while the big brother has a sucky eight.

Today, the meaningful specs such as the chip or camera are aligned in descending order at 12 MP for all Pro iPads and 8 MP for the mid tier choice plus lower tier iPad Mini. It’s just disarmingly straightforward. Want the most storage? You’ll have to shoot for the physically biggest Pro category to get up to 512GB of storage. Want to try the least powerful iPad to test the water first? Grab the physically smallest iPad. Which iPads are Apple Pencil compatible? Only the ones bigger than the original iPad. Find the 9.7” size to be perfect? Good, you’re done, no need to choose between a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad whatnot.

The logic behind this is painfully commonsensical, which begs the question why it took Apple so long to get there, but I am willing to forgive and forget. Water under the bridge, Apple, what matters is that we finally have clarity.

June 2017 has not only brought us spanking new iPads and a glimpse of an iPad-focussed iOS 11, but also finally clear product differentiation that will be easily replicable for experts and more importantly understandable to the average customer. In that vein, WWDC 17 could have been a watershed moment for the one product line Tim Cook has been so bullish about time and again. So please Apple, do not muck this up come November or at any other point in 2018, it took us long enough to get here.

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iOS 11 Brings a Heap of New Features This Fall

Apple got a lot done at WWDC this year. Outside of their stunning AR demos, huge Mac announcements and iPad updates, they also released the iOS 11 developer beta. This work-in-progress operating system gives us a glimpse into what iOS 11’s fall release will bring, and it looks pretty good! Here’s a selection of the new features that iOS 11 will bring come autumn.

Major Updates to Camera and Photos App

ios 11 camera app updates

In iOS 11, the Camera and Photos app will be getting some significant new features.

First, Apple is changing the format in which photos and video are saved. Camera will now use H.265 for video and HEIF for images. These new high-fidelity standards will shrink the size of photos and video by as much as 50 percent, saving precious iPhone storage space. Unfortunately, this space-saving feature is only available on newer iPads and iPhones.

Portrait Mode is also getting an update. The camera mode for the iPhone 7 Plus attempts to find and blur the background of your image, creating an effect photographers call “bokeh.” Reviews have been positive, but Portrait Mode hasn’t historically supported all of the Camera app’s features. In iOS 11, that will change. Portrait Mode will now support HDR and optical image stabilization for better dynamic range, improved low-light performance and sharper shots. The camera’s flash will also work with Portrait Mode for the first time.

If you have a compatible device with an A9 chip (iPhone 6S or later), Live Photos also gains some new editing options. Live Photos can now be cropped, just like videos. You’ll also see some neat new animations: Loop plays the life photo repeatedly, like a GIF; Bounce is a lot like Instagram’s Boomerangs, playing the video forward and backwards before repeating it; Long Exposure creates a unique blur effect.

Memories also picks up a few more categories, like pets, birthdays, weddings and sporting events. Machine learning makes an expected appearance as well, promising to improve Memories creation and detection of individuals for the People album. And, at long last, object and facial recognition data will now be synced across devices.

iPad Multitasking is Finally Here

At long last, the iPad Pro is finally getting the professional features it has long deserved. Apple has finally improved the Dock on the iPad, mimicking macOS’ design and making multitasking truly viable for the first time.

The Dock was previously only available on the home screen, but now it can be invoked from anywhere with an upward swipe. It holds up to 13 apps, and speeds up switching between apps significantly.

Drag and drop finally makes it’s long-awaited appearance as well. Text, links, photos, files and more can now be transferred between apps without the need for awkward sharing menus. To drag and drop, users will tap and hold to select a draggable item with one finger. Then they’ll open the destination app from the Dock or Home Screen using their other hand, releasing their finger when the information is in the right place. And in Split View mode, users can drag information between the two open applications.

ios 11 inline drawing

The Pencil also gets some improved utility on the iPad. The user interface can finally be manipulated with the Pencil. Notes can now be opened with a tap of the Pencil from the lock screen, reducing the time between picking up the stylus and making input. Instant Markup makes it easy to annotate screenshots and other documents before sharing them. Inline Drawing allows for doodles anywhere in Mail or Notes.

Files are also now directly accessible on both iPad and iPhone with the new Files app. This lets users save files to iCloud Drive from any app that supports it, then browse for and open those files. It’s a lot like a vastly-simplified, cloud-only version of macOS’ Finder.

Improvements to Notes, Maps and Messages

ios 11 notes updates

As usual, built-in apps like Notes, Maps and Messages will get major attention in iOS 11. In addition to the Instant Notes and Inline Drawing functions mentioned above, Notes users can finally create notes with tables, and Notes now includes an embedded document scanner for importing perspective corrected images of documents.

Peer-to-peer payments are now available in Messages, allowing users to send money between one another using Apple Pay. The recipient can use the funds anywhere Apple Pay is accepted, or transfer the money to a bank account. Messages apps are slightly more accessible, and two new message animations make an appearance.

Maps gets indoor maps for a variety of venues. You’ll find interior maps of malls and airports around the world, making it much easier to hunt down a bathroom when you really need one. There’s a short list of available airports at launch, and the selection will grow significantly over time.

Apple News will be a little smarter, with a For You section that tracks your interests and a new Spotlight tab that houses selections made by Apple News’ editors each day.

Music will get some more social features for connecting with artists and other users. Users can now share playlists with their friends and follow artists using the long-dormant Connect feature. A For You tab lets you see what your friends are listening to.

Life By A Thousand Updates

There’s also dozens of tiny updates to built-in apps. Safari will try to make it harder for advertising companies to track you, and HomeKit will get support for speakers. A new one-handed split keyboard makes it easier to text with a latte in hand. The App Store gets some flash, with a top-down redesign. Do Not Disturb gains a driving mode that automatically engages when you connect to your car’s Bluetooth, auto-replying to text messages to let the sender know you’re driving and can’t text right now. Siri try to learn your preferences, the Control Center is customizable, and the Lock Screen and Notification Center have finally been merged into a single entity.

A Big Year For iOS?

These updates sound awesome, especially for iPad users. Users have a lot to look forward to this fall.

You might also like:

Biggest Mac Announcements from WWDC 2017

8 Free iOS Apps You Must Download Today

The post iOS 11 Brings a Heap of New Features This Fall appeared first on Apple Gazette.

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