With iOS 8 bringing support for system wide third-party keyboards for the first time, developers have been coming up with creative ways to introduce new functionality to the keyboard, beyond simply making it quicker to type.
Translator Keyboard is a new third-party keyboard designed to allow users to quickly translate their text from one language to another, without the need for a separate translation app.
Translator Keyboard is able to provide a much simpler experience than the copy-paste workflow that many translation apps have had to settle for in the past. As well as making translation quicker and more convenient, Translator Keyboard is the perfect tool for bite-size translation, such as iMessaging colleagues abroad, participating in online chat or discussions in another language, or skypeing with those from another country.
To use Translator Keyboard, users simply need to select the language they plan to type in and a second language to translate to. A small bar above the keyboard displays what’s being typed as it as entered, and when a sentence is complete, hitting the return button will submit it to be translated.
Translation from one language to another takes just a few seconds and the translated text is inserted Continue Reading
Apple has released a new Activation Lock Status tool (via iDownloadBlog) that will make it easier for people buying a used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to avoid getting a device that is locked to another user.
Accessible via iCloud.com, the Activation Lock Status Checker allows users to enter a Device IMEI or Serial number to check whether a device has Activation Lock turned on.
Activation Lock was introduced alongside iOS 7 and is designed to prevent iPhones and iPads from being stolen. When Find My iPhone is enabled, it effectively locks an iOS device to a user’s Apple ID account, and even when wiped, the device will require the original Apple ID and password.
Activation Lock has cut down on iPhone-related thefts in major cities, but it has also affected users who purchase an iOS device used. If Activation Lock is enabled, a used iOS device will be entirely useless until unlocked by the original owner.
If an iOS device does have Activation Lock enabled, Apple’s tool will give users a clear warning that an Apple ID and password will be required before another user can activate the device. It also Continue Reading
Verizon today released a statement letting customers know that it no longer plans to throttle users who still have a grandfathered unlimited data plan that allows for unlimited LTE data usage.
Verizon is committed to providing its customers with an unparalleled mobile network experience. At a time of ever-increasing mobile broadband data usage, we not only take pride in the way we manage our network resources, but also take seriously our responsibility to deliver exceptional mobile service to every customer. We’ve greatly valued the ongoing dialogue over the past several months concerning network optimization and we’ve decided not to move forward with the planned implementation of network optimization for 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans. Exceptional network service will always be our priority and we remain committed to working closely with industry stakeholders to manage broadband issues so that American consumers get the world-class mobile service they expect and value.
Verizon’s LTE data throttling, first announced in July, was set to go into effect today. It would have seen the top five percent of unlimited data users throttled at times of peak usage, which Verizon referred to as “Network Optimization.”
Verizon’s plan to throttle its customers sparked Continue Reading
Apple today updated its Apple Store app for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, adapting the app for the two larger-screened devices. The new version of the app also includes an iOS compatibility update.
While the iPhone 6 update doesn’t bring a lot of visual changes, it has a much cleaner look due to the fact that it’s no longer artificially zoomed in, as seen in the comparison screenshot below.
After iPhone 6 update on left, before iPhone 6 update on right
Apple’s last major update to the Apple Store app came in early September, redesigning the look of the app and making it easier for users to make purchases.
Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the first Apple mobile devices to come equipped with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which supports much faster data throughput speeds. 802.11ac Wi-Fi is able to offer connection speeds that are up to three times faster than existing 802.11n networks.
iClarified has created a new video that compares the Wi-Fi speeds of the iPhone 6 Plus, which supports 802.11ac, to the iPhone 5s, which supports 802.11n, when connected to an AirPort Extreme. The site also created a custom app for the test.
Both devices were freshly restored to iOS 8.0 and connected to the 2013 Apple AirPort Extreme. The router was placed 1.5 metres away from the smartphones and each iPhone was connected to the AirPort Extreme using a 5GHz-only network. No other devices were connected to the wireless network at the time of the test and the downloads were performed at separate times. We cut them together for comparison.
As expected, the iPhone 6 Plus sees much faster connection speeds that reach 278.5 Mbps, while the iPhone 5s tops out at approximately 101.1 Mbps. While speeds are improved in this test, the actual speeds that users see in the real world will vary based on Continue Reading
iOS 8 has caused significant issues for some people who connect their phones to their cars and other devices via Bluetooth, according to numerous reports on the Apple Support forums and MacRumors‘ own user forums. MacRumors has also been receiving complaints on a near daily basis about the ongoing Bluetooth problems that iOS 8 users are seeing.
It appears that after upgrading to iOS 8 or purchasing a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, users have trouble pairing their phones to their car audio systems. The devices are seeing several different issues, refusing to pair entirely, neglecting to play audio over the speakers, or disconnecting when a call comes in.
Now when I am connected via bluetooth, I place a call, and it says it’s going over bluetooth, but it doesn’t interrupt my car’s music, and the audio doesn’t play over the speakers. The only way I can talk to the person is if I press the Audio button on the phone and select speakerphone or iPhone as if it wasn’t connected to the car.
Customers on the 12GB plan will now get 15GB of data for the same $110 per month, while customers on the 16GB plan will now get 30GB of data for $130. Verizon has increased available data across the board, delivering up to double the data for consumers at no additional cost.
“We know that no matter how much data you have, it’s only as good as the network it’s on, and Verizon Wireless’ network is second to none,” said Ken Dixon, chief marketing officer at Verizon Wireless. “We know our customers — from families to businesses — crave more data to help them keep up with their busy lifestyles, and these new promotions, together with other offers like our industry-leading trade- in program, give them even more during the month of October.”
Customers will be able to get the expanded MORE Everything plans beginning on October 2, with customers able to sign up through October 31.
Sprint today announced it is increasing data plan allowances for higher-tier customers in an attempt to compete with AT&T, which recently launched a new promotion that doubles the data available to some subscribers. Sprint also is waiving its existing monthly device access fee until 2015 for new customers. Sprint’s double data promotion is available to new and existing customers who sign up by October 31.
Sprint’s offer extends to its existing 32GB, 40GB and 60GB Family Share Packs, which cost $130, 150 and $225, respectively. Starting today, customers who sign up for the promotion will receive 60GB, 80GB, or 120GB of data at no extra cost. Similar increases are available to corporate customers on a Business Share plan. Customers can call Sprint customer care or visit a retail store to take advantage of this offer.
Sprint recently introduced its new Sprint Family Share Pack that allows customers to share data across multiple devices. Customers pay a fixed price for an allotment of data that is accessible by up to 10 devices. Besides the monthly data fee, customers also pay a monthly access fee for each device connected to the account. Each plan includes Continue Reading
Vogue editor Robert Sullivan today published a profile of Apple’s Jony Ive, documenting his rise from a small London design firm to become one of the most recognized and respected designers in the world. The life-changing moment happened when Ive met Steve Jobs and the two “just clicked.”
Ive talks about feeling a little apart, like Jobs. “When you feel that the way you interpret the world is fairly idiosyncratic, you can feel somewhat ostracized and lonely”—big laugh here—”and I think that we both perceived the world in the same way.”
In his time at Apple, Ive has led design efforts on a number of iconic products including the iMac, iPhone, MacBook Pro and most recently the Apple Watch, which the company unveiled alongside the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and which Ive showed to Sullivan weeks before its public unveiling. Speaking about the Apple Watch, Ive hopes to rekindle interest in a device the smartphone threatens to make obsolete.
“It’s strange when you’ve been working on something for three years . . .” he says, shaking his head. He describes the trajectory of clocks to watches: from a public clock in a Bavarian square to timepieces owned by royalty, Continue Reading
Smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech (via Business Insider) indicates consumer interest in the iPhone 5c remained strong in the UK ahead of the iPhone 6 announcement, with the lower-cost phone actually becoming the top-selling smartphone in the country for the month of August.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech
According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple’s share of smartphone sales in the UK fell just 1.6 percentage points between July and August, with strong sales of the iPhone 5c helping to prop up overall sales just ahead of the iPhone 6 launch.
Apple has managed to limit the drop this year with its share of sales dipping just 1.6 percentage points versus July this year – almost half the equivalent drop seen in 2013 ahead of the iPhone 5 launch. This has in part been achieved through focusing on the iPhone 5c which tends to attract a slightly less tech savvy buyer who will be less likely to be holding off for the iPhone 6. The iPhone 5c was the best selling phone in Britain in August with 8.9% share, outselling the flagship iPhone 5s with 7.6% and the Samsung Galaxy S5 with 6.0%.
This sales momentum for the Continue Reading
The Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG) Online has officially launched for the iPad following its debut at the Pokemon World Championships in August.
The title is the first licensed Pokemon game to be released for iOS, and allows players to build a deck of Pokemon cards and battle against other players while obtaining booster packs. Users can also enter tournaments for prizes, and customize the look of their cards, deck boxes, and avatar.
PLAY, TRADE, AND CHALLENGE OTHER PLAYERS AROUND THE WORLD
Have fun learning and mastering the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online! Practice against the computer or go head to head with your friends or other players from around the world. Unlock cards and decks as you play to build up your collection and make truly unique decks. Your decks and card collection are stored as a part of your Pokémon Trainer Club account, allowing you to switch between iPad and desktop with ease.
EASY TO START: Choose from Grass, Fire, or Water decks, step right into a game, and learn as you go in an easy play experience.
EXPAND YOUR COLLECTION: Earn cards, open booster packs, trade with other players, and build the Continue Reading
Apple has launched a new page on its iTunes Store allowing users to donate to City of Hope, which is a non-profit charity focusing on medical research and treatment. The page can be accessed through the desktop iTunes Store as well as the iTunes and App Store apps on iOS, with options for $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 donations available.
Apple will transfer 100% of each donation to City of Hope, as all donations will be billed to an iTunes account. With Apple currently holding 800 million iTunes accounts, the company has a large customer base that can take part in the donation program.
Apple has conducted similar donation campaigns throughout the past few years, which include programs for Super Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in 2013, Superstorm Sandy relief in 2012, Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief in 2011, and Haitian earthquake relief efforts in 2010.
Apple’s iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program now covers iPhone 5 models that had their displays replaced with third-party components, according to a new posting on Apple’s GSX site for service providers that was brought to MacRumors’ attention.
Previously, iPhone 5 models that had their displays replaced were barred from receiving a brand new battery replacement from Apple. The company generally did not replace batteries in devices that might have seen damage due to liability issues and required phones with damaged displays to correct that issue before progressing.
Additionally, Apple’s refusal to replace batteries in phones with new displays likely saw some contention amongst those who purchased refurbished iPhone 5 models and had not personally had any work done on the device.
Hours after Apple released a candidate golden master version of OS X Yosemite to developers and members of the public beta, the Cupertino company has begun asking developers to begin submitting their Yosemite apps to the Mac App Store. Additionally, developers can now submit their apps written in Swift to the Mac App Store as well.
Make sure your apps take advantage of all the great new features in OS X Yosemite, which will be available to millions of customers around the world later this fall.
Add powerful new functionality throughout OS X Yosemite with app extensions, explore the innovative new Swift programming language, and take advantage of advances in game technologies, Safari, iCloud, and more. To prepare your apps for the Mac App Store, download and build with the OS X Yosemite GM candidate and Xcode 6.1 GM seed from the Mac Dev Center. With the latest releases, Swift is now final and you can submit your Mac apps written with Swift to the Mac App Store.
The public release of the new OS is expected in late October and will include a redesigned interface and new features like Continuity, iCloud Drive and more.
Apple is planning to offer its new 9.7-inch iPad, which has thus far been known as the iPad Air 2 unofficially, in a gold color choice in addition to the already available silver and space gray variations, reports Bloomberg. The new option would bring the iPad up to color parity with its iPhone models, which have been offered in three colors since last year’s iPhone 5s.
New versions of the company’s 9.7-inch iPads, anticipated to be unveiled this month, will include gold as a choice of color for the rear metal cover, adding to the silver and gray available for the lighter iPad Air, the people said, asking not to be identified ahead of an announcement. That brings the color palette into line with the iPhone 5s, which come with silver or gold backs for models with a white faceplate, and space gray for those with a black front.
Bloomberg’s sources indicate that the new color choice may be an attempt to boost iPad sales, which dropped slightly in the past year. CEO Tim Cook previously said the iPad sales dip was a “speed bump“.