iOS was created by Apple, and is used exclusively on Apple products, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
Apple recently improved the selection of indoor airport maps in Apple Maps with an expansion to 30 new structures. Apple worked with each individual airport and the associated airlines in order to provide the most accurate data possible, including directions to gates, details about food courts and other amenities, and the ability to jump between floors/levels. A button tagged "look inside" clues users it to the availability of indoor maps at the supported airports. According to TechCrunch, Apple relies on WiFi inside each airport to help triangulate the user's iPhone and accuracy is to within a few meters. The new indoor maps are available at major airports including Amsterdam Schiphol, Baltimore/Washington International, Berlin Tegel, Chicago O’Hare and Midway, Denver, Detroit, Geneva, Hong Kong, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas McCarran, London Heathrow and Gatwick, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Nashville, New York JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, and Vancouver. Apple plans to add more airports over time.
Instagram today rolled out another wave of creative tools for social media aficionados. First, the Superzoom tool offers more zoom options and sound effects for overly-dramatic videos. Next, the app marks the debut of three new holiday-themed face filters, which include balloons bursting with confetti, winter makeup, hearts, and more. Last, the app is boosting its collection of stickers with additions for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Instagram says users can search for stickers using keywords (English only). These new creative options are available as part of Instagram 26 for Android and iOS. The updated mobile apps will roll out to the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store over the next few weeks.
Pandora today rolled out a new way to enjoy streaming music on mobile devices. Moving forward, people who use Pandora's free, ad-supported service will be able to listen to a specific song, album, or playlist after viewing a 15-second video ad. Before today, searching for a specific song only created a radio station based on that search. The video ad unlocks Pandora Premium for a limited time, meaning people can search for and listen to other songs directly after viewing the ad. Pandora says the idea is to offer premium on-demand features even to users who don't pay for its monthly listening plans. Beyond on-demand listening to specific songs or artists, ad-supported listeners can take advantage of personalized, automated playlists, and background music playback when multitasking. Pandora offers two paid tiers. Customers who pay $5 per month gain an ad-free experience with higher-quality playback, unlimited skips, and up to four offline stations. People who subscribe to Pandora Premium for $10 per month enjoy the ability to search for and play any song, album or artist, create personal playlists, and download customized playlists for offline listening. The new video ad experience will be available within the Android and iOS apps over the next few days.
Verizon Wireless plans to let holiday shoppers score a smartphone for free with an upcoming buy-one, get-one deal. Beginning Friday, December 15, customers who buy an Apple iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, or a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ can get a second device for free. Both devices will need to be purchased on a payment plan and at least one must be a new line of service. The second phone must be from the same manufacturer and be of equal or lesser value. The cost of the second device will be reimbursed monthly over a 24-month period. Verizon says the offer is valid for existing customer upgrades, as well as those who switch to Verizon. The buy-one, get-one deal will be available for a limited time.
Apple today made iOS 11.2.1 available to the iPhone and iPad in order to resolve performance issues. Specifically, the update tackles a problem that could disable remote access to shared users of the Home application. The update is rather lightweight at about 69 MB and it can be downloaded and installed over the air.
Twitter today made it easier to publish tweet storms, or threads. The use of threads, a way to string together a series of tweets to tell a longer story, has risen in popularity over the last few years. In order to simplify the process of composing these threads, Twitter has a new "plus" button in the tweet composer that allows users to connect tweets and publish an entire thread all at once. Even after a thread is published, the author can add to it thanks to a new "add another tweet" button. Further, threads will be easier to discover thanks to new labels that point to complete tweet strings. Twitter says the new threading tool is rolling out to everyone on Android, iOS, and Twitter.com in the coming weeks.
YouTube TV has expanded once again to 34 new markets around the country. The additional cities, some of which include Flint, Green Bay, New Orleans, Rochester, San Antonio, San Diego, Savannah, Shreveport, Tulsa, and Tucson, make for a total of 83 markets. YouTube TV originally launched in just five markets in April. YouTube TV costs $35 per month and includes up to six personal accounts all with unlimited DVR recordings and access. The number of channels is still limited to about 50. YouTube TV is available on Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as via the Chrome browser on desktop PCs. A YouTube TV app is expected to reach the Apple TV shortly.
Instagram today rolled out a new tool that allows people to follow hashtags in addition to individual accounts. The idea is to make it easier to discover photos, videos, and people. Hashtags are generally tied to subjects, events, locations, and other interests. The tool lets users search for hashtags and then follow the tag thanks to a new button that appears on the hashtag's main page. Instagram says posts that include the hashtag will then start to filter into users' main photo feed. People can unfollow hashtags whenever they wish. The tool is being added to the Android and iOS mobile apps over the days ahead.
Apple has made it possible for people to pre-order applications. Technically, the power is being given to developers, who can publish product pages and accept orders ahead of the app's release. Once the app is ready for download, customers will be notified and it will automatically download to their device. Developers can further advertise their apps by using the pre-order badges in their marketing materials. In another change, developers can now offer new customers discounted introductory pricing for auto-renewable subscriptions that are managed on the App Store. For example, digital magazines can offer the first three months of a 12-month subscription for a lower price. Developers can do this thanks to a new API in iOS 11.2 that allows them to configure introductory pricing. The new tools are available to developers today, and will reach end users soon.
Google today released three photography "appsperiments" that are meant to be fun ways to use your smartphone's camera. The new apps "rely on object recognition, person segmentation, stylization algorithms, efficient image encoding and decoding technologies" to create interesting and unique experiences. Storyboard, available only for Android, takes videos and turns them into single-page comic layouts. The app will automatically scan videos to select what it considers to be interesting video frames and then lay them out in one of six styles. The comics are easy to save or replace by filming new video. Selfissimo (pictured), available to Android and iOS devices, is a budding model's dream. The app is an automated selfie photographer that snaps shots as you move around and make poses. The app encourages you to pose as you go and will create a contact sheet with all the results. People can save individual images or the entire shoot. Last, Scrubbies, available only to iOS devices, lets people adjust video playback speed and direction quickly and easily with their fingers. It works sort of like a deejay turntable to create video loops that highlight action. Google says the appsperiments are in a trial phase and it welcomes feedback from early adopters.
Apple today announced that it has acquired Shazam, the song-identifying service, for an undisclosed sum. The deal was first revealed last week in a report from TechCrunch. The Shazam mobile application is available to iOS and Android devices. "Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users," said an Apple spokesperson to Reuters. "We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement." Apple didn't say if the purchase would impact Shazam's availability on Android. Shazam has a worldwide user base of hundreds of millions of people. The deal will need to clear regulatory hurdles before it can be finalized.
Verizon and the NFL today said they've agreed to a new multi-year deal that will see NFL content reach more people on mobile devices. Verizon says it will stream national and local football games across several of its media properties to fans on any mobile network. Via the Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, go90, and NFL mobile apps, people will be able to watch pre-season, regular season, playoff games, and the Super Bowl from their smartphone. The partnership kicks off in January with this season's playoffs. Beyond weekly games, Verizon will give fans access to NFL highlight reels, news, and other content throughout the year, such as the NFL Draft. Last, Verizon said it intends to work with NFL teams to deploy smart stadium technology in their stadiums for better on-site mobile experiences. The new live mobile NFL experience will first be available from the Yahoo Sports app for iOS and Android in January. The partnership is valued at more than $1.5 billion.
Instagram today introduced several new tools that will allow users to hold onto their fleeting stories more permanently. First, Stories Highlights let people create a featured story that can be pinned to their profile. It can be used to create a mini autobiography of sorts that plays when others view your profile. The idea is to let people share a highlight reel of their favorite memories and keep it at or near the top of their account. The second tool will automatically save users' stories to their archives. Until today, stories expired completely after 24 hours and were not kept or saved at all. Moving forward, all stories will be saved once they expire from the user's profile. Only the user will be able to view their archived stories. Instagram says archived stories can be used together with the new Stories Highlights to compile content on the user's profile if they wish. These new features are rolling out to the latest version of Instagram for Android and iOS devices. It will become available over the next few days.
Apple today distributed watchOS 4.2 to the Apple Watch. In addition to several bug fixes, the updated software adds support for Apple Pay Cash to Apple's wearable. Apple Pay Cash lets people send money directly to one another through Apple's messaging application. The idea is to make it easy for people to pay or repay one another directly. Apple recently added support for Apple Pay Cash to the iPhone via iOS 11.2.
Apple is now directly selling a version of its iPhone X in the U.S. without a SIM for any specific U.S. carrier. The phone is unlocked and will work with any U.S. carrier, although the same is true of the Verizon model Apple has been selling before today.
Target today made it possible for people to make in-store payments with their smartphones through the Target mobile app. Similar to Walmart’s offering, shoppers can link their debit cart to the new Wallet function within the Target app. At the register, users call up a code on their device that the cashier then scans to complete the sale. Target’s new system does not rely on NFC, used by Apple Pay or Android Pay, or NFC/MST, used by Samsung Pay, for tap and go payments. The new functionality of the Target app can be paired with existing tools, such Cartwheel, for discounts and sales. The new Target app is available to both Android and iOS devices and is free to download.
Facebook today rolled out a new messaging service for children under the age of 13. Messenger Kids is a mobile application that gives kids the power to communicate via text and video with approved family members and friends. The app works on smartphones and tablets, but is controlled through the parent's Facebook account. Messenger Kids first available to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Children can use Messenger Kids for one-on-one or group video chats. The UI gives kids a clear indicator of who they are allowed to communicate with and when those friends or family are online. Kids will not be able to connect with anyone not green-lighted by parents. A parental account is required for children to use Messenger Kids. Setting up the service does not create a Facebook account for the kids, and kids will not have access to their parents' Facebook accounts. There are no ads served to kids in the app, nor are their in-app purchases. It includes masks, emoji, and sound effects, and supports photos, videos, or text. Facebook says it created a library of kid-safe GIFs and other content for sharing. Adults who receive these messages will see them in the regular, full version of Facebook Messenger. Messenger Kids is only available to iOS devices in the U.S. to start, but Facebook says it will expand to Android devices soon.
Apple today released iOS 11.2 to the public. The main feature introduced in iOS 11.2 is Apple Pay Cash, which lets iPhone owners send funds directly to one another via Apple Pay. The funds can be sent from any credit or debit card associated with the sender's Apple Pay account. iOS 11.2 also introduces faster wireless charging for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. Last, this update fixes several bugs, including one that causes iOS devices to crash beginning December 2. iOS 11.2 is free to download and install. Apple recommends all users install it at their earliest convenience.
Google today delivered updates to its Google Maps and Google Home applications for the iPhone X. Both apps have been adjusted to account for the iPhone X's taller screen aspect ratio. The updated apps also resolve some bugs and other performance issues. Google has now updated the majority of its core apps for the iPhone X, save for Gmail. Google Maps and Google Home are free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Google says an update to the Google Assistant app for Android and iOS will let people perform searches for more local information, businesses, and service providers. For example, people can say "Ok Google, find me a plumber" to their device, the app will ask some follow-up questions, and then supply a list of local options for plumbers on the smartphone screen. Results cards will include ratings and contact information, and Google says local providers in many cities will be prescreened by third-party organizations such as HomeAdvisor. This update is headed to Google Assistant in the U.S. over the coming week.
Microsoft today said its Edge browser for Android and iOS has exited preview and is now available as a final, public application. Microsoft Edge for mobile devices ports over popular desktop features, include Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page, and Reading View. It can sync bookmarks and browser history with the desktop and includes a built-in QR code reader. This final version of the app adds Roaming Passwords, which allow you to save passwords on one device and sync them to others, such as from a phone to a PC and vice versa. The browser also gains a dark theme. Microsoft Edge is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.
Apple today released iOS 11.2 Beta 5 to developers. The main feature introduced in iOS 11.2 is Apple Pay Cash, which lets iPhone owners send funds directly to one another via Apple Pay. The funds can be send from any credit or debit card associated with the sender's Apple Pay account. The fifth developer beta of iOS 11.2 is free to download for those enrolled in the developer program. The fifth public beta will likely arrive within 24 hours. Apple hasn't said when iOS 11.2 might reach all users.
Google has updated its core productivity apps for iOS 11 and the iPhone X. On the iOS 11 front, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides specifically gain support for drag-and-drop behaviors of the iPad. Users can select content in one app and drag it to another. This is particularly helpful when moving complicated items such as tables or graphs between documents. On the iPhone X, the apps gain support for the extended screen aspect ratio. Google has updated many of its apps for the iPhone X, including Chrome, Google Search, Google Assistant, Google Drive, and Google Photos. The two notable exceptions are Gmail and Google Maps, which have yet to be optimized for the newest iPhone.
Instagram today made it possible for people to join the live video broadcasts of their friends. The app now includes a "request" button that will ping the person streaming live video. That person can review, accept, or reject incoming requests. Once accepted, users will be notified that they're about to go live. The joined live view jumps to split-screen with the original broadcaster in one window and you in the other. Either party can leave the shared video stream at any time. Facebook says live videos may be shared to stories or discarded immediately. The new feature is available to the Android and iOS mobile Instagram apps, which are free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store, respectively.
Verizon Wireless is offering big discounts on this year's top phones through its Black Friday sale. Verizon will cover up to $378 off the price of the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, or Note8, the Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, or the Moto Z2 Force. Customers will need to sign up for Verizon's unlimited plan, but no trade-in is required. Customers will need to purchase the device, whether up front or financed, and Verizon will break down the $378 reimbursement in account credits over a period of 24 months. In other deals, Verizon will sell you a 32 GB iPad for $199 if you activate it on a two-year plan, or for $99 when purchased alongside an iPhone. These discounts are available online November 23 and in stores November 24 only. Verizon has other sales that begin Thursday and run through November 27. For example, customers can save $50 on a Google Home, $20 on a Google Home Mini, $20 on Google Daydream View, or $15 on a Chromecast Ultra. Verizon will discount the price of many Android handsets by $100 when activated with an unlimited plan. Last, Verizon is discounting tons of accessories, including FitBit wearables, Ultimate Ears and JBL Bluetooth speakers, and Nest smartphone products.
Apple today released iOS 11.1.2 for the iPhone and iPad. This minor release primarily fixes bugs. Specifically, it resolves an issue where the iPhone X screen might temporarily freeze up or become unresponsive to touch input after a rapid decrease in temperature. It also addresses an issue that might result in blurry Live Photos captured with the iPhone X. The small update is free to download and install over the air.
Intel today announced a range of 5G modems for mobile devices that rely on various technologies to handle the transition from 4G to 5G. The XMM 8000 series will handle multi-mode operations on 600 MHz and mmWave band around the globe and will be ideal for PCs, phones, and fixed wireless equipment. The XMM 8060 will focus on 5G New Radio, though it will also be backward compatible with legacy 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. Intel expects this modem to ship by the middle of 2019. Last, the XMM 7660 is a Cat 19 LTE modem that can handle 1.6 Gbps speeds with MIMO, carrier aggregation, and broad spectrum support. This chip, too, will ship in mid-2019. Intel believes this portfolio of chips will help it remains competitive as wireless technology advances.
The International Trade Commission today said it will investigate claims made by Aqua Connect and Strategic Technology Partners that Apple is infringing on its patents. The two California-based firms filed grievances with the ITC in October and assert Apple's Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TVs violate their intellectual property. The specific technology in question was not immediately identified. The ITC will assign the case to an administrative law judge for review. The judge will make an initial ruling that will then be reviewed by the entire ITC panel. Aqua Connect and Strategic Technology Partners hope to ban Apple from selling the devices unless it pays up. The ITC is a popular venue for legal complaints between tech companies because it has the power to prevent them from importing devices into the country.
Apple has made iOS 11.2 beta 3 available to both developers and public testers of its mobile device platform. The main feature of iOS 11.2 appears to be the addition of Apple Pay Cash, which allows iPhone owners to pay one another directly via the iOS messaging application. iOS 11.2 beta 3 cleans up the code a bit. For example a bug impacting calculator operation has been swept under the rug, and several animations found in the calculator have been removed entirely. The update adds a warning screen that explains to end users the difference between disabling Bluetooth or WiFi via the Control Center versus doing the same thing from the Settings menu. The former puts the radios to sleep, while the latter turns them off entirely. iOS 11.2 beta 3 shows off new camera emoji and animations for Live Photos, as well as a way to see "now playing" content in the Control Center when using the iPhone as a remote for the Apple TV. New Live wallpapers on are deck, too. iOS 11.2 beta 3 is free for registered developers and beta testers to download and use.
Apple today released an updated version of its Clips video application with new and fun tools to improve both the experience of using the app and the end results. The most exciting addition is Selfie Scenes, which takes advantage of the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X to place the user inside a 360-degree, animated scene when recording selfies. The app includes 10 scenes created by Apple, such as landscapes, paintings, and spaceships from "Star Wars." iPhone X owners can put themselves in a scene and then pan around, viewing and recording themselves within the landscape. All users will be able to take advantage of new artistic effects that can turn photos or videos into watercolors, oil paintings, sketches, and other art styles in real-time. Clips gains access to more sticker and poster content from Disney, including "Star Wars" characters and Disney favorites such as Mickey Mouse. More than 20 new soundtracks can be used to accompany Clips recordings. Apple redesigned the user interface for Clips with streamlined controls that make it easier to find and use filters, labels, stickers, and emoji. Buttons have new labels, too, and a full-screen browser lets people see their entire project while editing and creating. Last, Clips gains support for iCloud. iPhone and iPad owners can store, access, and edit their Clips projects from any device, which is automatically saved to iCloud. Clips is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple today made iOS 11.1.1 available to iPhone owners. The minor release primarily resolves a keyboard-based autocorrect bug that impacted the ability to type the letter "I", which was often replaced with an odd character. The software update also fixes a bug that cause "Hey Siri" to stop working. iOS 11.1.1 is free to download over the air.
Apple today released iOS 11.2 Beta 2 to public testers, one day after releasing the developer variant. Of note, iOS 11.2 Beta 2 introduces the Apple Pay Cash tool that Apple announced earlier this year. Though the service is in beta form, iPhone owners can use Apple Pay Cash to send funds directly to one another via Apple Pay. The funds can be send from any credit or debit card associated with the sender's Apple Pay account. Apple Pay Cash shows up as a button within Apple's messaging application, though users can also request money from friends and family. Apple does not charge fees to use Apple Pay Cash, though it is instituting a virtual tool called the Apple Pay Cash card. Funds sent to people land in the Apple Pay Cash card, which can be used immediately to fund Apple Pay-based transactions or send cash to others. It means people have instant access to the money, rather than be forced to endure a minimum transfer window or waiting period. The public beta of iOS 11.2 is free to download for those enrolled in the program. Apple hasn't said when iOS 11.2 might reach all users.
Instagram today said people will be able to add older photos to their ephemeral stories. Before today's update, only photos captured within the previous 24 hours could be added to stories. Now, Instagram said people will be able to take any picture from their camera roll and add it to a story. The tool will automatically call up a sticker so users can provide details on when and where the photo was taken. Instagram said users can rotate, resize, or remove the date sticker if so desired. Stories themselves still disappear after 24 hours. The expanded camera roll access for stories is hitting the latest Instagram mobile app for Android and iOS. It will be available for download soon.
Qualcomm hit Apple with a lawsuit today, alleging the iPhone maker allowed Intel to access Qualcomm's proprietary software. Apple uses modems from Qualcomm and Intel in the iPhone and has separate engineering teams for each. Qualcomm had a strict software license contract with Apple that was meant to ensure its confidential information, including source code, wasn't shared with Intel. Qualcomm says Apple emailed the company in July requesting sensitive information about how its chips work and copied an Intel engineer on the email chain. Qualcomm also says Apple's Qualcomm engineers shared information with Apple's Intel engineers regarding Qualcomm's software. Apple did not immediately offer comment on the latest lawsuit. The two companies have been embroiled in legal battles over the last year, though largely over the cost of licensing wireless chips. Apple is withholding a $1 billion royalty payment owed to Qualcomm until the matter is settled.
Apple today updated its GarageBand music-creation tool for iPhones and iPads. To start, Apple says the revised app will be compatible with the display of the new iPhone X, which goes on sale Nov. 3. GarageBand now includes an expanded library of instruments, called the Sound Library, most of which are available as Group or pack downloads. According to Apple, all instruments in the Sound Library are free. The app adds several new drum styles that can be activated via the drum machine tool. Other additions include support for new languages, new sharing/file options, recording in 24-bit sound, iMessasge stickers, and of course bug fixes and performance improvements. GarageBand is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple today released the final version of iOS 11.1 to the public. The minor operating system update has been in beta testing with developers for more than a month. The most significant addition to iOS 11.1 is that of Unicode 10, which includes dozens of new emoji. Moreover, the Apple keyboard now generates multiple emoji options when typing keywords that support emoji. iOS 11.1 also resurrects the 3D Touch App switcher for certain iPhones. On the security front, iOS 11.1 includes a patch for the KRACK WiFi exploit that recently came to light. The improved operating system further offers a number of under-the-hood bug fixes and performance adjustments. iOS 11.1 is free to download over the air. Apple also released watchOS 4.1, which brings LTE-based Apple Music streaming to the Apple Watch Series 3. The watchOS update also includes a new Beats 1 radio application, WiFi toggle, and Unicode 10. WatchOS 4.1 is free to download through the associated iPhone app.
Virgin Mobile USA today said it will offer customers the Apple iPhone X starting November 10. The company will accept preorders beginning November 3, which happens to be the same day the handset reaches Apple retail stores and those of Virgin's owner, Sprint. Virgin did not reveal pricing details for the iPhone X, but it will likely charge customers the full retail price of $999 for the 64 GB model and $1,049 for the 256 GB model. iPhone X owners on Virgin Mobile can get unlimited talk, text and data at up to 4G LTE speeds for just $50 per month.
Google today said it has updated the way it handles queries in Search and Maps when people travel. Moving forward, people will be served search results based on their actual location, not the domain they've indicated on the web (such as .com, .uk, .de, etc.) Google says people using Search in the U.S. will automatically be served Search and Maps results for U.S. locations. When a U.S. user travels to Canada, Google will automatically switch to the country service for Canada in order to deliver the best, most-relevant results while that person is traveling. Google will switch country service back to the U.S. when that traveler returns to the States. People can customize this if they wish. Google says the update won't impact how well Google Search and Google Maps work. Instead, results should automatically follow people as they move from country to country. The reason behind the change is that many people often type in the domain for their home country even when traveling abroad, which can skew results. The change is being made to the mobile web, the Google app for iOS, and desktop Search and Maps.
Instagram today added several new creative options for users that should expand what they're able to do with the app. First, a tool called Superzoom is here to add some drama to videos. Tapping Superzoom with cause the video to automatically zoom in with suspenseful music. Instagram says Superzoom works with either the main or selfie cameras, and results can be sent privately or added to users' stories. Next, Instagram is offering, for a limited time, new Halloween-themed face filters and stickers. The face filters allow people to turn themselves into zombies, vampires, and more, while the stickers can be added for holiday fun. The face filters and stickers will be available through November 1. Superzoom is here to stay. The new tools are available in the latest version of Instagram for Android and iOS.
Apple confirmed that it has acquired PowerbyProxi, a New Zealand-based company that designs and sells wireless charging products for both consumers and businesses. Apple did not provide terms of the deal. Wireless charging appears for the first time the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Apple adopted the Qi wireless charging standard for its new iPhones. These latest iPhones can use existing Qi-based wireless charging pads, though Apple will release its own charging pad early next year. Apple didn't say why it bought PowerbyProxi, but clearly it can use the company's expertise to create more charging pad accessories for iPhones and other products.