iOS was created by Apple, and is used exclusively on Apple products, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
Facebook today pushed out a small update to its iOS mobile application. The latest version of Facebook for the iPhone brings with it the ability to add emoticons to status updates, change who can see posts after they've been published, and start conversations after receiving photo messages. Facebook for iOS is a free update from the iTunes App Store.
Skype today announced that its video messaging service has graduated from beta status and is widely available for use. The service, which has been in trials since February, allows Skype users to record and send video messages (up to three minutes long) to other Skype users. Skype said that video messages can be viewed on any platform, but in order to record and send messages users must have devices running Android, BlackBerry, or iOS. Microsoft's own Windows Phone platform is not yet able to record and send Skype video messages. The feature is free to use, and Skype said that users can send an unlimited number of messages.
AT&T today announced that owners of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S will soon be able to receive wireless emergency alerts. AT&T will push a small carrier update to the iPhone 5 and 4S in the coming days that enables the function. Wireless emergency alerts are sent by the government to warn of danger. The alerts are most often related to severe weather or abducted/missing children, but can notify mobile device owners of other dangers, such as attacks. iPhone owners will be able to turn off all but Presidential alerts, which are pushed to all mobile devices and cannot be disabled. The alerts will be available to iPhones running iOS 6.1 and up.
Microsoft today released Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers. The software allows iPhone owners to create Microsoft Office Word and Excel documents, as well as open and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, but it requires a subscription to Microsoft's Office 365 service. Office Mobile allows iPhone owners to open Office documents embedded in emails, and syncs documents changes back to SkyDrive or SharePoint automatically. It also supports collaboration tools, such as adding and viewing comments, and sharing documents with others via email or SharePoint. The application supports more than two dozen languages. Office Mobile for Office 365 is optimized for the iPhone 5, but also works with older iPhones, the iPod Touch, and the iPad. It requires iOS 6.1 and up.
Google today announced an improvement to its Google+ social network that will see notifications synced across a user's various devices and platforms. Notifications that are marked read or dismissed on one device will automatically be marked read on all devices. In addition to the notification syncing, Google is updating notifications' appearance, providing a new bell icon to alert users to notifications, as well as a new notifications tray that shows read/unread items separately. According to Google, the updated notifications are going to be rolled out gradually. Android devices will be the first able to access the new notifications thanks to a new Google+ application that is available to day. The new Android Google+ app also adds the ability to delete photos from the Photos view, as well as adding easy ways to check the number of +1s, comments, and reshares. These same changes will next reach the web version of Google+, and eventually iOS devices.
AT&T would like to strike more Wi-Fi roaming agreements with its international peers. Bill Hague, AT&T's executive vice president of international affairs, said that such agreements would benefit not only consumers, but the network operators, too. "Roaming agreements will increase revenue for everyone, and far more than anyone could do individually," said Hague while speaking at the Wi-Fi Globall Congress this week. "In much the same way as GSMA standardization secured its international success, so we need to do the same with Wi-Fi." Specifically, AT&T is looking at the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and its Passpoint program, which will allow cell phone users roam from cell network to Wi-Fi hotspots seamlessly, even in other countries. Passpoint and the Next Generation Hotspot (Hotspot 2.0) programs require that devices be certifed by the WBA, since a big piece of the puzzle is authentication of the user between the various networks. The standards are still in progress and the industry has yet to settle on one. Apple's recently-announced iOS 7 includes support for Hotspot 2.0, as does the Samsung Galaxy S4. The initiative is expected to go live for consumers early next year.
Apple today said that iOS 7 will work on many of its newer iOS products, including the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5; the iPad 2 and later; the iPad Mini; and the fifth-generation iPod Touch. It will be available this fall.
Apple today announced iRadio, a new music-streaming application for iOS 7 devices. It hooks into Twitter, iTunes Radio, and will create and stream radio stations, as well as share the radio stations and add them to lists of favorites. The music app provides hundreds of pre-built radio stations, but users can easily create their own on the fly. Songs can be added or deleted from wishlists and playlists. The service lets users preview and buy tracks from the radio service, as well. iTunes Radio is built into iOS, iTunes on the desktop, and Apple TV. It is free to use with advertising, and ad-free for those who subscribe to iTunes Match.
Apple today detailed iOS 7 for the iPhone and iPad. The new platform, which has a new user interface, includes many new features and capabilities. The lock screen has been been given an updated appearance, as has the weather app with new animations and a new view of multiple cities at one time. The calendar app is better at scrolling and landscape support. The OS has a new swiping gesture that brings back the previous screen. Game Center supports multiple pages of games within folders. Notification Center is now visible from the lock screen, and the today screen shows more detail about the day, including transit times. Control Center offers faster access to wireless radios and is available from any part of the UI. Multitasking now works across all apps within iOS, and iOS 7 introduces a new multitasking screen. Multitasking uses intelligent scheduling, opportunistic updates, and adapts to network conditions to fetch background data when apps aren't being used to conserve battery life. The Safari browser adds iCloud keychain, smart search, shared links, reading lists, and better tab support. Many of these changes are available in the desktop version of Safari, as well. iOS 7 adds support for AirDrop, which can be used to share files with others nearby via peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. The camera sees a number of improvements, and allows people to swipe from camera mode to camera mode, such as from standard to panorama. The Photos app also sees an update, and will help organize photos by putting them into "moments" based on date and location. It also adds a number of filters and editing tools, as well as more advanced sharing capabilities. Siri has been updated to respond to more natural language requests, and can do things like play voicemails or open Twitter. iOS 7 brings with it car integration with a number of 2014 models by a handful of manufacturers, and will show up on the car's in-dash system. It also offers a new version of the App Store, which improves app discovery, such as the ability to see apps that are local, and adds automatic app updates. Other new features include a new activation lock for stolen phones, night mode within Maps, FaceTime audio for high-quality calls, notification sync across devices, message/phone blocking, and better business support.
Apple today revealed the next version of its mobile operating system for the iPhone and iPad, called iOS 7. Apple has redesigned the user interace of the OS to make it more modern. Apple called it the "biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone." iOS 7 uses new icons, new fonts, and a new palette of colors to change the look of the home screen and applications. It uses distinct colors and translucency within separate planes and spaces. It uses parallax to create the appearance of depth. It is what Apple CEO Tim Cook called a "major effort" between the design and engineering teams.
Google recently made the newest version of Gmail available to devices running its own Android platform as well as Apple's iOS platform. The new version of Gmail, announced in May, adds tabs to the inbox to help Gmail users better organize their email. The new version of Gmail also offers more customizable notifications. The changes to the mobile apps reflect those made to the browser-based desktop version.
Google today pushed out a new version of Chrome for iOS that makes several improvements to how the browser functions. The app is now better able to handle natural language search requests and is faster as transcribing them on the fly. The browser can also speak results back to the owner, as well as display the relevant search results on the screen. Last, Chrome for iOS is faster at rendering web pages. The browser is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Google today provided an update to the iOS version of Google Drive. Google Drive 1.4.0 adds several new features, chief among them the ability to view, create, reply, and resolve comments within documents. Comments are used to let multiple people collaborate on a single document. The new version of the app also makes it possible to swipe through images stored online. Google Drive 1.4.0 for iOS is free to download from the iTunes Store.
Twitter today released new versions of its mobile application for the Android and iOS platforms. Both apps receive a similar set of updates meant to make composing Tweets and adding photos faster and easier. The app now offers Tweet previews once photos have been added, which show the entire photo plus the username and avatar. Twitter also made it easier to remove or add location details to individual tweets for both apps in the composition screen. The Android app gains richer notifications, while the iPhone app loses the borders that used to appear around timelines. Twitter for Android and iOS is free to download from each platforms' respective app store. Twitter didn't update the BlackBerry or Windows Phone mobile apps.
Google today announced a sweeping redesign of Gmail's inbox in desktop browsers, as well as the dedicated Android and iOS Gmail applications. The changes center on the addition of tabs to the inbox that are meant to help organize different types of emails into categories, such as updates, deals, messages from friends, and so on. Users can choose which of the five tabs they see in their inbox, and the order in which the tabs appear. Messages can be moved between tabs and certain senders can be prioritized to always be visible in the primary tab. The new mobile apps, which will become available gradually over the next few weeks, default to the primary tab view, but make it easy to view and interact with emails in the other tabs. According to Google, users can switch off the tabs and stick with a classic view of Gmail if they so wish.
Google today made a new version of Google+ available to iOS devices, such as the Apple iPhone. Many of the new features are carried over from the recently-revised Android version of the Google+ app. Google+ 4.4.0 for iOS includes a number of improvements to the photos portion of the service. It offers a new auto-enhance tool for improving uploaded images. Google+ will assemble collections of photo highlights and the app is now better at sharing GIFs and panoramas. It is easier to find content through the use of hashtags, and Google+ now lets users adjust more facets of their profile from within the app. Google+ adds support for strikethrough text and the ability to edit comments. Last, the Hangouts feature is no longer available within the app (Hangouts is available separately). Google+ 4.4.0 for iOS is a free download from the iTunes App Store.
Yahoo today announced that it has agreed to purchase Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash. Tumblr is a blogging platform that, by Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer's own admission, "couldn’t be more different" than Yahoo. Despite the differences, Meyer believes the two companies will be complementary to one another in the long run. Yahoo made a distinct promise "not to screw up" Tumblr. It will be operated as a separate company, and its leadership team will remain intact. Tumblr CEO David Karp said, "Our team isn't changing. Our roadmap isn't changing. And our mission – to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve – certainly isn't changing." Tumblr is accessible from the web, and also via dedicated smartphone applications for the Android, iOS, and Windows Phone platforms. The Tumblr apps can be used to view the blog, as well as create posts, upload photos, make comments, and more.
AT&T customers who install the new Google Hangouts application on their Android devices cannot use one of the main features: video chats. When they attempt to start a video chat, a message appears prompting them to connect to a Wi-Fi network; the feature won't work on AT&T's cellular network. When reached for comment, AT&T explained that AT&T customers are free to download any third-party video chat app they wish and they'll work fine. Apps that come preloaded, however, must be enabled by the developer for use over AT&T's cellular network. AT&T did not address Google Hangouts directly, but it implied that 1. Google Hangouts qualifies as a "preloaded" app because it replaces the Google Talk app on Android handsets, and 2. Google did not follow the proper protocols required by AT&T in order for the app to function over its cellular network. Google Hangouts for iOS, which qualifies as a third-party download on the iPhone, functions properly over AT&T's cellular network. Google Hangouts for Android works fine on the cellular networks of other carriers. Google has not yet offered a clarification on the matter.
Google today announced a new version of its Google Maps app for both Android and iOS. The software now dynamically reroutes turn-by-turn driving directions if traffic conditions worsen on the road ahead. The service also shows and lets you see details of alerts for specific traffic-related incidents that might affect a trip. It will be available "this summer".
Google today announced a new version of Google+ Hangouts that pivots the service to compete more directly with Facebook Messenger. The app enables group conversations merging text, photos, emoticons, and video chat. The service includes a dedicated app for both iOS and Android, plus a web version is also available.
Google today announced its gaming service to compete with Apple's Game Center for iOS. The new Google Play Game Services enables games to save game progress to the cloud, and easily enables multi-player gaming. The service also includes achievements and leaderboards both globally and among friends in Google+ Circles. Cloud save, achievements and leaderboards work cross-platform, across Android, iOS, and the web.
BlackBerry today announced that it will make versions of its BlackBerry Messenger application for both the Android and iOS platforms. The application and service will be available to the iPhone and Android devices later this summer. Basic messaging and groups support will arrive first, and other features, including BlackBerry Voice, BlackBerry Video, and screen sharing. Additionally, BlackBerry expects that iOS and Android users will also be able to use the just-announced BBM Channels later this year. BlackBerry Messenger has to-date been a BlackBerry exclusive app and service.
Google's Chrome development team is offering iOS application developers a new tool that lets them stick Chrome into their iPhone apps. The idea is to allow developers to control how web content is displayed within their own application. In many apps, clicking a web link forces iOS users out of the app they are using and into Safari. By using the new OpenInChromeController class with x-callback, clicking such links will instead open a Chrome window within the app, which also lets users go back to the main app by hitting the back button. In order for this feature to work, the Chrome browser must be installed on the iPhone in question.
AOL today announced that it has struck a partnership with Verizon Wireless to distribute its content on Verizon's smartphones and tablets. The content will show up in the Verizon Wireless Home web portal and will be bookmarked within the browser on Verizon devices. The AOL portal will feature up-the-minute news headlines, weather, and maps, as well as provide access to video content. The portal will appear on smartphones and tablets running Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone, but not iOS. Customers will be able to customize the type of content that reaches their devices. The AOL content is expected to become available later this summer.
Google provided a small update to the iOS Gmail application today that makes it work better with other Google-developed applications. Specifically, Gmail users who click Chrome, Google Maps, and YouTube links within Gmail will be taken directly to those on-board applications rather than the mobile web. Users can also choose to turn this feature on or off to suit their preferences. The new Gmail app also allows users to sign out of one Gmail account at a time rather than all accounts at once (Gmail for iOS supports up to five individual email accounts). Gmail for iOS is a free download from iTunes.
Apple has made iOS 6.1.4 available to the iPhone 5. The changelog only references an updated audio profile for the speaker. The update is free to download and install over-the-air.
Twitter today pushed out minor updates to the Android and iOS versions of its mobile application. Both versions gain a clearer look at trends and local Tweets, faster account changing, and bug fixes. In addition to these, the iOS version of Twitter gains the ability to invite friends to Twitter from within the app, improved playback of Vine videos, and more complete conversations that include retweets. Twitter for Android and iOS is free to download from each platform's respective app store.
Verizon Wireless today announced Verizon Cloud, a new backup and storage service that lets customers sync their smartphones and tablets to Verizon's servers. Verizon Cloud offers 500MB of storage for free, but offers up to 125GB of storage for $9.99 per month. Verizon says the free option should be enough to backup settings, calls, messages, and contacts. Verizon is also pitching Verizon Cloud as an easy way for customers to sync settings/content between devices when upgrading or switching phones. Verizon Cloud is being made available to Android devices first, but it will be available iOS devices in the coming weeks.
Google today added its Google Now service to the Google Search application for the iPhone and iPad. In order to use Google Now, iOS device owners will need to download and install the newest version of Google Search. Users can then sign into their Google account and activate Google Now, which offers personalized information, such as local weather, sports scores, and the time it will take to commute home, in a card-like format on the screen. Google Search with Google Now is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Yahoo today made available a new version of its main Yahoo application for iOS devices. First and foremost, the application now includes Summly's recommendation technology, which Yahoo purchased just last month. The app features news and other content, and learns from user behavior over time to recommend more appealing stories. Other new features included more controls over personalized content, easier sharing with social networks, improved web search, and article summaries written by Yahoo. The app has also been given a visual overhaul. Yahoo for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store. Yahoo has been revising many of its Android and iOS apps in recent weeks, while at the same time cutting services, such as Yahoo Mail and Messenger for Java phones, that it feels distract from its core strengths.
Yahoo today announced another round of product closures, including several mobile apps and services. Beginning April 30, Yahoo will cease to offer Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger for Java-based feature phones. According to Yahoo, Mail and Messenger will still be accessible to feature phone users via mobile browser, but the separate apps will no longer be available. Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger for Android and iOS devices will remain available (Yahoo recently updated Yahoo Mail for Android and iOS tablets). Yahoo will cease allowing customers to access Yahoo Mail Classic via their web browser, and will transition all users to the new version of Yahoo Mail. Yahoo is also going to cease offering Yahoo SMS Alerts, which deliver news and other information to mobile phones via text message. Other Yahoo services to be sunset include Yahoo Kids, Upcoming, and Yahoo Deals. Yahoo has been trimming products over the course of the last few months in order to "sharpen its focus" on newer services.
Facebook has ported its free VoIP calling feature from iOS to Android today. The tool allows iOS and now Android users to make free VoIP-based calls to other iPhone/Android Facebook Messenger users over both 3G and Wi-Fi. The calls are initiated via on-screen controls from within individual Messenger conversation threads. Facebook Messenger does not need to be updated in order to use this feature.
Facebook today provided developers with a handful of new tools that it says will improve the way their apps interact with and pull content from Facebook. First, Facebook is offering a new API for its Open Graph that makes integrating the Graph with third-party apps much easier for developers. Second, it is improving app log-ins to make it easier for users (and developers) to log into apps with Facebook credentials and still maintain permission and privacy controls. Log-ins should also be faster. Last, Facebook has published iOS SDK 3.5 for developers. This latest SDK incorporates the changes mentioned above, and includes an updated Developer Center.
Vonage today released a new version of its mobile calling application that brings free video calls to both Android and iOS devices. Video calling had previously only been available to Android devices through a beta application. Now, Vonage Mobile customers can conduct live, two-way video calls in high definition to any other Vonage Mobile user on an Android or iOS device over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G. The app also lets users toggle between video and voice chats on the fly. Vonage mobile for Android and iOS can be downloaded for free from their respective app stores.
LinkedIn today made available a new version of its mobile application for both the Android and iOS platforms. The app received a significant visual overhaul that LinkedIn says is simpler to use, and brings new importance to the news stream. Users can now invite, follow, like, share, and comment on content from the stream of their contacts' updates. The app also adds new personalized and customizable navigation to make it quicker to find the content/contacts you want. Last, it adds the ability to follow what LinkedIn calls "influencers" for even more content. LinkedIn for Android and iOS are free downloads from their respective app stores.
Mailbox today got rid of the reservation system it had in place to control the number of people who downloaded its email application. There is no longer a wait list for the app, which is free and can be downloaded immediately by anyone who wants to try it. Mailbox is an iOS application that makes managing Gmail easier. In addition to the dropped wait list, Mailbox updated the app with several new features, including more granular control over "snoozes" based on the time of day; faster swiping gestures; user interface improvements, such as double-tapping to see an email address; and general bug fixes. Mailbox is available to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Facebook is releasing a major update today to its app for Apple's iOS. The update brings limited support for Chat Heads, one of the key features of the company's new Facebook Home software for Android-based phones. Chat Heads surface incoming messages in a unique visual style that floats above the rest of the interface. On an Android phone running Facebook Home, Chat Heads appear over almost any running app. In the new iOS app, the user must be within the Facebook app for Chat Heads to appear, due to the more restrictive nature of iOS. The update will also update the visual style of News Feed to match recent updates on other platforms.
Google today updated the YouTube application for iOS devices. The new version of the video software adds several features, most notably the ability to access and view content being streamed live. Other new features offer quick access to new uploads from the user's subscriptions, the ability to queue videos for watching on a TV set, new branding for video creator channels, and performance improvements. The update is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
LinkedIn today announced that it has purchased social news reader Pulse. Pulse provides an Android and iOS app that lets users sync and read stories from a variety of web and social network sources in a unique visual presentation. LinkedIn, which has been ramping up its publishing and news services, believes Pulse is a good fit for its plans moving forward. LinkedIn paid $90 million for Pulse.
Rockmelt today announced that it is changing direction and will soon cease to support the Rockmelt browser. Rockmelt first offered its socially-aware browser to the iPhone in 2011. It was later discontinued, and then reappeared again as recently as December 2012. Today, however, marks a more significant change for the company and its plans moving forward. Rather than offer a socially-connected browser, Rockmelt debuted a brand new web site for desktop browsers and an iOS application today both called Rockmelt for Web. This new service is an invite-only beta product for time being. Rockmelt for Web still connects people to their social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, RSS, etc.) and offers a tile-based view of a wide range of content pulled in from those sources around the web. Rockmelt cited the on-going expense of maintaining its own browser as one reason behind today's changes. Existing Rockmelt users will continue to be able to access the browser for the time being, and will have first access to the beta Rockmelt for Web app/service.