Everything new in iOS 10: New ways to communicate in Messages, Lock Screen Widgets, redesigned Music, Siri apps and much more

iOS 10 is now available to the public for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Most iOS 9 devices can update to iOS 9, but what benefits are there to running Software Update? A lot actually. Apple has redesigned many of the core apps like Music and News, added third-party app integration into Siri, automatic people and object tagging in Photos, a whole new Lock Screen and much more. They’ve also updated Messages with new animated bubble effects, stickers, iMessage apps, Digital Touch, handwriting input and new emoji features.

This just scratches the surface. There’s a lot of new stuff to explore — read our walkthrough of the best new features and enhancements in iOS 10 after the break …

If you don’t know how to update, check out this guide. iOS 10 is compatible with most devices that run iOS 9 so the vast majority of people will be able to upgrade right now.

iOS 10 runs on iPhone 5 or later, iPad Mini or later and the sixth-generation iPod touch. Obviously, the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come preinstalled with iOS 10 when they launch on Friday.

NEW FEATURES AND ENHANCEMENTS IN IOS 10

Revamped Messages App With Larger Emoji, Digital Touch, Bubble Effects, iMessages Apps and More

Messages has received a big upgrade in iOS 10 with many new features. Messages includes new ways to express your meaning with a handwriting scratchpad, bubble and screen effects to visually adorn your messages with animations, Apple Watch-esque Digital Touch sketches and send quick reactions using Tapbacks.

Send quick notes or thoughtful messages with the new handwriting mode. On iPhone, turn your device to landscape to activate the handwriting scratchpad and use your finger like a pen to write out quick messages. The same feature is available with a button press on the onscreen keyboard.

Bubble and screen effects add an extra dimension to your communications beyond lines of text. Bubble effects add different types of emphasis with various hard-hitting and gentle animations. For example, send an emotional message with a “gentle” effect which oozes gradually into frame. For a more hard-hitting message, use the “slam” effect and other bubbles literally bounce out of the way.

To activate bubble effects, long-press on the circular Send button. Tap on each button to get a preview and then tap again to confirm. The last option is called Invisible Ink. Invisible Ink messages are obscured when sent with a pixellated blur effect. The recipient has to drag their finger over the message to blow away the dust and reveal what it says. Preview these effects in the video below:

You can also do five different screen effects which apply to the whole screen, not just the individual bubble. Choose from balloons, confetti, fireworks, a laser light show or a shooting star. Select these set of effects using the buttons at the top of the screen on the bubble effects view. Bubble and screen effects display to recipients using iPhone or iPad on iOS 10 and Apple Watch with watchOS 3.

Another type of new communication in iOS 10 Messages is Digital Touch. Ported from Apple Watch, Digital Touch on iOS lets users send quick sequences of taps, little sketches and even “your” heartbeat. Press the little disclosure triangle next to the Messages textfield and select the middle icon, the Digital Touch Logo. This opens a canvas with different painting colors and a quick cheat sheet of various gestures. Tap quickly on the display to send taps or drag around to sketch. Hold down two fingers to send a pulsing heart. This should all be very familiar to Apple Watch users as the gestures are identical.

Unlike the Watch, however, the iPhone does not have a heart rate sensor. When you send a Digital Touch heartbeat on iPhone, there is nothing really special about it. It’s a fixed animation and not affected by your actual heart rate. You can also send a ‘heartbreak’ by pulling down your two fingers after the heart appears, a kiss (tap with two fingers) and a fireball (press with one finger).

All of these sketches and little ditty can be superimposed on top of a photo or video too, you are not limited to black backgrounds. Use the camera button to snap a quick selfie or shoot a video before or during a Digital Touch drawing.

Tapbacks are quick Facebook-like reactions to messages sent by others. Rather than reply a generic ‘okay’ or ‘agree’, long-press on a bubble to send an instant Tapback like a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down. These little stamps annotate the bubble for all conversation participants and are great if you are on the move and don’t wait to tap out a complete reply. Recipients receive notifications about Tapbacks just like any normal message.

Everyone loves emoji and iOS 10 brings several enhancements in the emoji department. As well as 100 new emoji available, if you send up to three emojis as a standalone message, they will now appear 3x larger in the Messages app. A simple emoji smiley reply is more impactful with iOS 10 — it’s bigger.

The QuickType bar above the keyboard will also suggest emoji replacements for a lot of common strings. Moreover, if you write something in the Messages input field and then swap to the Emoji keyboard, the “Emojify” mode is activated. This highlights ‘emojifiable’ words in orange. Tapping instantly replaces the text with a suitable graphical emoji. It’s fun to do but the real-world practicality is probably limited. Still, if you are stuck in a runt and can’t find an emoji for your message … let iOS help you.

With iOS 10, Apple is trying to make the Messages app a platform of its own. It now features its own, dedicated, App Store for iMessage apps. This will include apps that replace the keyboard and offer new functionality as well as interactive apps that can be shared amongst all the people in the conversation. Apple has demoed a restaurant booking app where each individual adds to a shared order that appears as a bubble in the transcript. (Apple is also boosting the integration of the web itself into Messages; links will now display as rich previews with thumbnail art and page titles, rather than just a bare URL.)

View the available iMessages apps by pressing the third button in the input row. This shows a dedicated drawer of apps built for iMessage which can be re-arranged just like the normal iOS Home Screen. Press the ‘+’ button to view the Store to download iMessage apps. One type of iMessage app that will be very popular is stickers.

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Stickers are kind of like third-party emoji, but better. Stickers are usually static images, but they don’t have to be: stickers can be animated or even dynamically generated by an iMessage app. They are more than just a photo: they can be peeled off the sticker set and placed anywhere in an iMessage conversation. This means they can dropped standalone, on top of text, on top of parts of text, on top of photos or even on top of other stickers. The recipient will see the sticker in exactly the same place so nothing is lost in transit.

Tap on a sticker to send it as a standalone image. To peel off a sticker, long-press on it and drag it around. Whilst dragging, use another finger to rotate or zoom the sticker up to a larger size. Recently-used stickers appear in the Recents panel, for quick access. To view details about the stickers placed, long press on a bubble and select Sticker Details. This will show the originating app for a sticker and the person that placed them.

By default, iMessage apps appear in a compact view which is about the size of the system keyboard. In this presentation, swipe left and right to swap between iMessage apps and sticker packs. iMessage app, including stickers, also support full-size presentation which makes it easier to see more content at a time. Swipe to a particular sticker pack and then press the bottom-right up arrow to expand into full-screen view. Peeling a sticker whilst full screen will cause the iMessage app to automatically collapse into the compact presentation style so you can place the sticker on a bubble.

iOS 10 iMessage is packed with new stuff but note that much of the new stuff will require the people you are talking to also have iOS 10. Bubble and screen effects will not show on iOS 9 or older software, instead showing lame text messages like “Sent with ‘Slam’ effect”. Similarly, stickers will show up on older software but only as naive image attachments — the full features of stickers will only be available to iOS 10 users.

New Lock Screen Widgets, Today View And Rich Notifications

At a system level, a lot has changed with iOS 10. Slide to unlock is dead as part of an entirely new Lock Screen design. If you are using an iPhone 6s or iPhone 7, the iPhone will automatically wake the screen when you lift the device up. If not, a tap on the Home Button makes the iPhone come alive. To actually unlock the phone and get to the Home Screen, press the Home Button once. Don’t press the Home Button and explore the new Lock Screen features:

The Lock Screen is now split into three sections, the middle is the default and looks mostly the same displaying the time, date, wallpaper and any new notifications. Notifications have been redesigned as floating distinct bubbles and can feature real-time information, photos, videos and more. A sports app could update a single banner notification with the latest scores as the game is being played, rather than pushing one alert for every action.

All of the system apps make use of the new notification features; in addition to Quick Reply, a 3D Touch gesture on the banner will reveal a transcript of the conversation. You can actually chat from the lock screen now! A 3D Touch action reveals buttons and a detailed expanded content view for any third-party app that updates to add this integration.

From the lock screen, swipe to the right to reveal the quick access Camera. This used to be a vertical swipe, now it’s a horizontal one. Back to centre, swipe to the left to reveal the Today view. iOS 10 enables live updating interactive widgets to be accessible from the lock screen as well as Spotlight Search. Sensitive operations will only be revealed once the device is authenticated, with a Touch ID fingerprint or passcode. Apple has added several new widgets of its own too including Upcoming Destinations, frequently contacted people in Mail, and Activity rings for Apple Watch wearers. Widgets are now standardized with compact and expanded sizes, tap to Show More. Apple has obviously updated all of its stock widgets (like Weather or Stocks) to behave properly in the new paradigm.

Like notifications, widgets are also more bubbly and feature white backgrounds. This will cause some friction as developers have been building against a dark background Today view interface for some time; it will take months before apps update to respect the iOS 10 design guidelines.

Redesigned Control Center

Yet again, Control Center has been reworked. This time, the quick drawer has actually been segmented into separate panes. A “Now Playing” panel deals with everything related to music and media playback, the other holds other generic iPhone controls like brightness, WiFi toggles and such.

The iPhone controls settings, the first page, is much the same as before with toggles along the top row and quick access to flashlight, timer, calculator and camera running along the bottom. Night Shift has its own dedicated row now, whilst AirPlay Mirroring and AirDrop share a row.

Whilst it looks much the same as iOS 9, it has been boosted by 3D Touch shortcuts on the quick launch app. You can use 3D Touch to set the flashlight at low, medium or high intensity. You can 3D Touch the timer to start it instantly for an hour, twenty minutes, five minutes or one minute. Jump into a specific shooting mode by firmly pressing the Camera icon. Even the Calculator icon in Control Center will let you copy the last result with a 3D Touch gesture.

The second page of Control Center is Now Playing. This houses controls for music, like play/pause as well as album art and a separate AirPlay panel. This AirPlay panel is not to be confused with the Mirroring options: this is just for managing audio output across wireless speakers.

Automatic Face Recognition And Object Detection Photos

Apple is adding a lot of intelligence and machine learning algorithms to Photos with iOS 10. This includes automatic face recognition of people in your photo library, just like Photos on macOS. This means that full Faces support is available to iPhone and iPad users for the first time. After the system has indexed all your photos (this requires the iPhone or iPad to be connected to power), detected people will be shown in the special Faces album.

Tap on a person to see all the photos the app has tagged them in. You can name the person and drag them into a bar of Favorites to organize them. Apple uses machine learning algorithms to classify the faces as best it can but sometimes it will may mistakes. Delete a photo from a Faces album to untag it. After the initial photo library is indexed, new photos are indexed as they are taken and added to the appropriate collections. With iOS 10, Face albums are not synced between devices so every device manages its own library. Apple has hinted that Faces may sync in future software versions.

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As well as Faces, Apple has also added advanced object recognition. This means that all your photos are also tagged based on their content. It is now possible to find pictures of dogs, animals, weddings, beaches, sunsets and many other things without any manual tagging or sorting. Unlike Faces, this metadata is not exposed in the Albums view. Instead, use the Search field and type in something. The object tagging is classified as a “Category”.

For example, search Dogs to find all the images the Photos app can find of dogs. There are over four thousand categories in total, many very obtuse. If you want to get a feeling for the kinds of objects and scenes the Photos app can detect, search the letter “a” in the box. It will show all the categories that begin with that letter. Ignore the other events and results in the search, focus only on the items that are listed as a “Category”. Repeat for the entire alphabet to see everything the Photos app has found in your library.

All of this intelligence happens locally on the device; your photos are never sent to a server in the sky for processing. This means the initial indexing may take some time (and it only happens whilst the iPhone or iPad is charging, to preserve power). Patience is a virtue here: when you first upgrade to iOS 10 it is unlikely to have processed all your pictures for people and objects.

Photos now includes a dedicated Places album which presents your library as a map view. The new Memories tab creates dynamic albums based on computer intelligence and attempts to intelligently group events based on location, time and the people who are in them. Memories are generated continuously as new groupings are found and the photo library grows. Tap into a memory thumbnail to view all the photos in the collection. The Photos app goes one step further and offers automatic slideshow movies of all the images in a collection. These are generated in real time and can be customized with different themes or length. It’s like something you could create in iMovie but integrated into the Photos app. If you want to preserve a movie, save it out as its own item. These can then be shared with others to commemorate the memories.

Brand New Home App For Controlling HomeKit Accessories

The Home app is entirely new and offers complete control over all your HomeKit accessories in the home. Configure Rooms, Zones and more from Apple’s first-party app. It shows little cards for each accessory and you can set favorites to display on the main screen. Tap on lights to quickly flick them on and off. Press firmly with 3D Touch to open the detail screen for an accessory; with lights, this opens a slider to select precisely how bright or how dim. If you have multicolored options, like the Hue White & Color Bulbs, a color wheel will display. For rooms, you can choose your own background wallpaper to quickly identify one from another.

The Home app is also where you set up automation. With a dormant tvOS 3 Apple TV or iOS 10 iPad that stays in the home which acts as a hub, users can set up triggers and rules to control their HomeKit accessories automatically. For instance, when the sun is rising, turn off the lights and switch on the fan. iOS 10 also enables a lot of new accessory types such as cameras and doorbells. The Home app takes advantage of the new rich notifications in iOS 10 too; you’ll be able to view your home security camera from the notification banner on the lock screen.

I really like the summary view on the Home tab; a few lines of text that show the most important information about the house upfront. On a per accessory basis, you can filter what messages display here so it only shows what is most relevant to you.

The Home app is a great addition to iOS, an Apple-sanctioned controller for your HomeKit life that doesn’t require voice activation via Siri. One thing that the Apple Home app can do that third-party apps can’t is integration with Control Center. With HomeKit accessories registered, Control Center will add a third pane after Now Playing. This gives quick access to favorite accessories and scenes, so you don’t have to dig into the iOS Home Screen just to flick a lamp off. The Control Center pane appears once you have configured at least one HomeKit accessory.

Simplified Music App, Apple Music Gains Lyrics, Discovery Mixes

The iOS 8.4 / iOS 9 Music app received a lot of criticism for being complicated and fiddly. Apple has taken that feedback to heart and is back with a whole new design for the application. The app now features clearer navigation. The first tab is your Library. This lists all the music that is “yours”, whether downloaded or just added from Apple Music. Tap the big Playlists item to view Playlists. Tap Artists to see your music filtered by singer, and so on. Albums display with bigger artwork and bigger touch targets, two per row. The default list of buttons can be customized using the Edit button.

Note that Apple has removed the dynamic tinting and translucency effects that flooded the iOS 9 interface. Everything is coated in either white, black and pink. Tap on a song to start playback and notice the new Now Playing view. Transport controls are visible alongside volume, AirPlay, song progress and artist/name labels. (Quick tip: tap the Album name to jump to that album in the app) The view is a transient popover and can be pulled downwards and out of sight at any time.

Pull the other way and reveal Shuffle, Repeat and Up Next options. It’s slightly hidden but it’s a lot cleaner than the iOS 9 Up Next experience which was hidden behind modal views. You can rearrange items in this list Lyrics will also appear in this space, just below the viewport unless scrolled, if they are available. Lyrics are a new feature with Apple Music in iOS 10 and will automatically show if they are found. Lyrics require an Apple Music subscription.

The other tabs of the Music app have also been redesigned with simpler navigation and a cleaner appearance. For You now includes Discovery Mixes which update weekly with music based on your library; these appear as scrolling cards at the top of the screen. The iOS 9 New tab has been renamed to “Browse” to better describe its contents. The Radio view has been given an overhaul too with a priority on Beats 1 and curated playlists. Swipe between the panes to view the different stations and tap to start listening. Beats 1 content is more easily accessible, displaying the current show on air and the upcoming schedule (localized to your timezone) in one tap.

There is still no landscape mode view but, overall, the app is way better than what came before. The huge heavy title typography may be off-putting at first but you get used to them. The iPad app has been similarly reworked with obvious navigation. Apple has an affordance for people who complained about not knowing what music was on device and what music was only in the cloud too. One of the Library navigation options (hideable if desired) is called Downloaded Music: this is a special filter that restricts what music is visible to just what is saved on local storage.

Third-Party App Integration With Siri

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Siri is finally adding third-party app integration in iOS 10, so that some third-party apps can participate in responding to voice queries send to the personal assistant. With iOS 10, a Siri API enables six categories of applications to be a part of the Siri experience. This requires developer support so apps will have to be updated to support the new Siri SDK.

Once they do, you will be able to send and search chat messages with apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, start phone calls from Siri using Skype, search for images in an app like Flickr or use your voice to book a ride with Uber. Apple is also supporting fitness app and payment app integration so you can use apps like Square Cash with Siri to send your friends money … just with your voice.

In the example screenshots above, WhatsApp can handle the message request and display its own user interface inline to the Siri experience. Users can talk to Siri apps with a variety of phrasing, it is not limited to a robotic set of placeholder statements. Apple has designed the API so that the input users can provide is flexible, equally good for all apps in a particular category and will get better over time.

Right now, though, the categories of integration Apple offers is quite limited. Media playback apps are notable exceptions so you won’t be able to ask Spotify to start playing your favorite playlist or have Overcast start the queue of new podcasts in iOS 10.0. Apple executives have indicated that they plan to expand the capabilities of the Siri SDK in future iOS versions but a timeline was not given.

Apps with Siri support are beginning to roll out now alongside iOS 10. Find Siri apps by pressing the “Search the App Store” button at the bottom of the Siri help interface.

Apple News Redesign, Breaking News Notifications

Like Music, Apple News has received a significant redesign (and a new Home Screen icon) with bold fonts and sectioned content. Although Apple News features very little human curation on the main screen, Apple has reworked the algorithm in iOS 10 to delineate stories into titled pages per topic. Top Stories, which is selected by human editors, are shown at the top of the screen its own section with today’s date. Trending features the most popular articles from other readers and Featured is another human curated section of the best content, updated weekly. Videos embedded in stories will also play from the overview screen sometimes, instead of a static image.

New in iOS 10, Apple News supports subscriptions and breaking news. Subscriptions allow users to pay for recurring content, although it isn’t clear how this works just yet and is seemingly limited to select Apple partners. Opt into push notifications to get breaking news alerts from the News app even when you are not using it. The notifications utilise the rich notification API in iOS 10 so you can actually read a lot of the story straight from the banner. Apple News also introduces a Today view widget, so you can view headlines from the lock screen.

Major Maps App Redesign, Better Navigation And Third-Party App Integrations

Maps has received a redesign in iOS 10 with a new interface paradigm. The top and bottom fixed toolbars have been removed. Maps now shows a full screen map with a small popover window at the bottom of screen which handles most of the navigation.

The app is focused on navigation and nearby points of interest, Apple wants to get you where you are going faster. The popover features a search field at all times prompting you to search for a destination. Apple is also smarter about providing likely places to go with Proactive intelligence; these suggestions will be displayed below the search field. For example, if you are looking up a location in another app, Maps will be able to show that same address to you. Maps will also surface home, work or places associated with upcoming Calendar events on the map itself as their own pins. It can even detect where you have parked your car, if you pair with CarPlay or Bluetooth whilst driving.

Like Messages, Apple is also extending the Maps experience with more third-party app integration. Select ride booking and restaurant partners will be able to be shown in the Maps app, enabling contextual restaurant reservations or car services to appear relevant to your current location. Whilst navigating with turn-by-turn, Apple has also improved the camera system so you are more likely to see the road ahead. You can also pan around the map using your finger simultaneous with the turn-by-turn navigation. Maps will also let you search along the route for points of interest like petrol points or coffee shops.

Updated Health App With Simpler Views Into Your Activity

The Health app has not received as drastic redesigns as News or Music, but it has gotten an overhaul nonetheless. It now shows contextual health statistics for the current day, week and year as appropriate. Health data is split into four main classes, Activity, Mindfulness, Nutrition and Sleep. Each section is color coded and features an integrated explanatory video describing what falls under that category.

For example, the Activity section will display Apple Watch Activity rings as well as data points pertinent to activity tracking. This includes things like exercise minutes, flights climbed, resting energy, steps taken and distance travelled. All of the esoteric measurements, like the different vitamin intakes, are still trackable within Health but they are hidden by default. If you want to surface these on the main screens, select Add to Favorites. Hiding so much of the app’s depth by default is a good thing as it makes the app more approachable to use (the new design is far less underwhelming than a long list of random health statistics) for most people.

The Calendar view largely mirrors the main tab, but breaks down the information based on the selected date. If you just want to see how active you were yesterday, the Calendar view supplies that information very easily. I still wish it was easier to see a weekly or monthly summary.

Phone Improvements, Better VoIP App Integration

Apple has enhanced the Phone app with support for third-party VoIP apps. These can show up on the lock screen like normal phone calls with full size profile pictures, although again this will require apps to update to support the new API. Messaging and VoIP apps can also integrate into the contact cards so if you talk to a friend over WhatsApp a lot, it will appear as a quick chat option automatically. The Siri SDK will also enable phone calls to VoIP apps using just your voice.

Apple is also adding a spam call alert API, so developers can let the system know if a number is known as fraudulent or as a spam caller, it will display instead of an anonymous Caller ID. Apple is also launching a beta of voicemail transcription using iCloud dictation, but this is limited to select carriers. It seems to require visual voicemail too, so if you don’t have that you are out of luck. Voicemail transcription shows transcribed text content inline to the voicemail notification.

Miscellaneous

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We’ve tried to cover the main highlights above, but we’ll have continuing walkthroughs over the next few weeks of everything iOS 10 has to offer. iOS 10 is a big update and there’s some other notable additions that deserve a mention:

  • Use Apple Pay on the web, on supporting websites in Safari.
  • On iPad, open Split View in Safari to view two pages side-by-side.
  • iPad Pro 12.9 inch gets a three-pane view in Mail and Notes.
  • Organ donor integration with the Health app. This is US only.
  • Four new languages for Siri: Spanish (Chile), Chinese (Cantonese), English (Ireland) and English (South Africa).
  • Live Photos image stabilization as well as photo filters for Live Photos.
  • When highlighting text, Siri will now spell out individual letters with a “Speak” option as well as Speak Selection.

Conclusion

Apple has really shaken up a lot of the core apps with iOS 10 as well as drastic changes to the Lock Screen. All of the redesigns are changes for the better; the new Music app is very good and far simpler to understand with flattened navigation. Once apps update to support all the new stuff, iOS 10 will make a big difference to how people use the iPhone whether that’s through rich notifications or via Siri voice queries.

I think the removal of Slide to Unlock will be jarring to a lot of people, especially those without the latest hardware and cannot benefit from Raise to Wake. The need to press the Home Button again can be a bit jarring and breaks a habit iPhone users have built up since 2007.

In general, though, iOS 10 is as familiar and easy to use as ever. iOS 10 is available now for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Download it and enjoy all of these new features today. Also check out the other software updates Apple has released today like watchOS 3, which is another great update for Apple Watch users.

All you need to know about today’s Apple event.

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The Retina iPad mini is real! Finally, the 7.9″ tablet from Cupertino has a 2048×1536 resolution, but, with a catch: the price has moved up from $329 to $399. You can still grab the older iPad mini model, which design-wise is still exactly the same, for $299, which wasn’t a significant drop, but a drop nonetheless. One thing that did come as a surprise to me was that the iPad mini now includes the new A7, bringing it on par with all the other top tier devices including the newly announced iPad Air and the iPhone 5s.

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As expected, this device will also come int he new Space Grey color, however there is no gold option to be found for any of the new iPads. No Touch ID was brought to the table, and the cameras remain at 5MP, not the rumored bump to 8MP like some of us expected. Outside of that, the only real new feature for the iPad mini was the Retina display that is now included, and some internal upgrades plus a price hike.

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Apple today announced what we thought was going to be the 5th generation iPad. For most of the time we’ve known it as iPad 5. Or iPad with Retina. Instead, Apple went with its MacBook naming scheme and scrapped the confusion by calling it ‘iPad Air’. So, now we have iPad 2, iPad Air and iPad mini.

Air took me aback for a while, until I saw why. It’s so much thinner and lighter than the last iPad that it’s going to provide a radically different experience. The bezels are 43% thinner than any other iPad before it. It’s the “lightest full-size tablet in the world”. It weighs only 1 pound. It’ll be available in white/silver and black/space gray.

Specs-wise, we’re looking at a device hosting a64-bit A7 chip which should make it twice as fast as the iPad 4 in every way. Wether your gaming, or creating media content, you’ll notice the speed jump. It’s not just the processor that makes it faster, it’s faster in terms of Wi-Fi too having been equipped with the new multi-band MiMo wireless technology. Like the iPhone 5s, it has a co-processor for motion dubbed the M7.

It has a 5MP iSight camera with 1080p HD video capture, and you’ll be able to make better quality FaceTime calls too. And, it has the same 10 hour battery life that’s been the mainstay feature of iPad since 2010.

iPad Air will hit store shelves on November 1st and cost $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model. Cellular models start at $529 as always. All the storage options and prices remain the same as the last generation.

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Apple has put in a lot of effort into redesigning and re-engineering its iWork suite of apps.

The software is being redesigned for both Mac and iOS – a stripped back and cleaner interface for both sets of devices.

All three apps – Pages, Numbers and Keynote – feature new features, such as new keyboard tools and content sensitive menus to reduce the amount of clutter on screen.

Numbers, which Eddy Cue said reinvented spreadsheets, gets interactive, live charts. Keynote, the “gold-standard of presentation apps”, has a bunch of new effects and animations, more realistic physics and was used to host the Keynote we just saw.

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iWork for iCloud is also being updated, as we speculated earlier today, and will be live soon after the presentation. One great new feature being added is the ability to collaborate on documents, something that was one of the most requested features.

A humorous demo showed Eddy Cue and Roger Rosner editing a document together in real time and showed off some of the capabilities of the web apps.

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Best of all, all of the iWork suite of apps will be free with the purchase of a new Mac or iOS device and will be available today.

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iLife has all new features, including new interfaces, and a new price point for any new Mac or iOS device. The new interfaces, which are all being launched today, are rethought on iOS to better match the look and feel of iOS 7. On the Mac side of things, the designs have also been better thought to look more like the iOS counterparts, including new colorful icons (except for Garageband on OS X). Many of the new features were under the hood, including 64-bit support on iOS to support the new A7 chip, with the most forward facing change being the new user interfaces. If you are someone that is looking to buy a new Mac or iOS device, then you will be getting these new apps for free through the respective App Stores. This is available today for free on any new Mac or iOS device.

As expected, Tim Cook and Phil Schiller took to the stage to talk about the Mac and reveal new Mac hardware at today’s event.

Tim Cook spoke about the Mac as a category that Apple still deeply believes in and commented on the competition stating that they are different, confused:

They chased after netbooks and are trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs but that Apple has a very clear direction and a very ambitious goal

In order to reach this goal, Apple unveiled the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Both the 13-inch and 15-inch models received considerable upgrades.

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The new 13-inch model is now lighter at 3.46 pounds and thinner at 0.71 inches.

Internally it’s improved too with the new 4th generation, dual core Haswell chips being incorporated as expected.  Intel Iris integrated graphics are up to 90% faster and the flash storage is improved and should be 60% faster. Improved WiFi is also present with 802.11ac support and Thunderbolt 2 is also included.

All of this power, accompanied with OS X Mavericks, will give you 9 hours of battery life on the 13-inch model (including iTunes video playback).

What’s most impressive is the price – the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display now starts at $1299 and ships today.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display saw many of the same internal improvements like Thunderbolt 2, improved Flash storage as well as 802.11ac WiFi support. Some of the internals are a step above its 13-inch counterpart with a quad-core Haswell chip, Intel Iris Pro graphics, GeForce GT750M in some models and up to 8 hours of battery life.

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The 15-incher also received a price reduction – it starts at $1999 and ships today.

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During today’s announcement, Phil Schiller took time out to mention the Mac Pro again. This time, he gave us more than just a sneak peak of the computer that’s going to be both designed and assembled in the US. It’s an incredible machine that’s not only the fastest machine on the planet (available to consumers), it’s also the quietest when idle, as quiet as a Mac Mini.

Inside are some incredible innovations, like the single fan used to keep it cool, but also the new thermal core. Even the machining process at the factories looks incredible. It’s almost entirely made from metal, its storage is all flash based, and can be customized to order.

Specs

Processor: 

Next Gen – Intel Xeon E5,
Quad, 6, 8 or 12 core.
Up to 30MB L3 cache
40 lanes of PCI Express gen 3

Memory: 

Fastest memory ever put in a Mac.
1866MHz speed, with options up to 64GB RAM

AMD FIrePro GRAPHICS. 528GB/s total bandwidth. Up to 7 teraflops.

Storage – all flash. Up to 1.2GB/s reads, 1.0GB/s writes. Up to 1TB storage.

I/O options

Expand through Thunderbolt 2. Up to 6 devices per port.

Video – Up to three 4k displays. Single and dual input displays. HDMI 1.4.

It has a motion controller, the I/O illuminuates when you turn it around.

Mac Pro didn’t get a concrete release date, but, it will be available in December and will cost upwards of $2999 depending on which options you choose.

mavericks

The Apple keynote is going on right now, and we finally have a Mavericks date and price. Of course, new features of Mavericks includes things such as the vastly improved multi-display support, the new version of Safari, the new Maps application, Notification improvements, Finder improvements, and more. OS X Mavericks is a huge advancement to OS X, and now you know when you can get it.

Other improvements include insane new memory management, such as the ability to allocate 6GB of data into only 4GB of memory. The following devices are compatible with Mavericks:

2007
– iMac
– MacBook Pro

2008
– MacBook Air
– MacBook
– Mac Pro

2009
– Mac Mini

Everything forward

So you can get all these new features of OS X Mavericks for nothing at all, free. That is just crazy. Apple has been known to price its operating systems very cheap, pricing Mountain Lion at only $19.99. But Craig Federighi came out and said that today Apple would be “revolutionizing” the pricing of operating systems, and that is just what it did. Who would want to buy Windows 8 Pro for $199 when you can buy a Mac and update your operating system to the latest and greatest for FREE!? No one that I know of.

MAPi Cases launches new iPhone 5 cases with some new prices.

mapicases

If you saw the MAPi Soli iPad mini case that Cam reviewed a week or two back and took interest in its cases, then here is a chance for you to get one for your iPhone 5. MAPi has announced a few new iPhone 5 case lines that also come with a new price tag. These new cases, which are dubbed “budget friendly”, include the Poros Caller ID pouch, the Altos Flip Wallet case, the Pella Shell case, and the Taos Snap Wallet case. If any of these sound interesting, you can check out the press release below for a little more description:

MAPi Cases Launches New Line of iPhone 5 Cases at New Price Points
 
New iPhone 5 case styles made from fine European leather now available at new budget-friendly prices
 
ATLANTA, GA (March 28,2013) — MAPi Cases, a leading manufacturer of innovative smartphone and tablet cases made from the world’s finest leather, announces four new varieties of stylish and protective cases for the iPhone 5. The new product will be showcased for the first time at the CTIA Wireless show in May, and range in price from $25 to $55. These new offerings from MAPi Cases introduce high quality products at an introductory price point that makes luxury leather cases accessible for all consumers.
 
“We are adding the new models to the MAPi lineup of iPhone 5 because we want to show we are committed to brand development. Our iPhone 5 model platform needed a little refreshment, mid-cycle,” said Emre Sener, CEO of MAPi Cases. “These new models are slotting into price points where we had gaps, and setting us up as a strong competitor against manufacturers in China. With these additions and new color selections of our existing models, we have also significantly broadened our customer demography.”
 
Expanding on MAPi’s extensive lineup of luxury iPhone 4/S and iPhone 5 cases, the new additions to the MAPi iPhone 5 lineup include:
 
Poros – Caller ID Pouch
The Poros is a simple, yet stylish, premium soft leather pouch case with a unique opening that makes caller ID visible when the iPhone is in the case. A simple pull out tab makes it easy to remove the case, and the soft lining will clean the iPhone screen every time you put your device away. Poros is available in three colors of soft textured premium leather: black, brown and red.
 
Altos – Flip Wallet Case
Altos is a wallet style case with a snap-in cradle to securely hold the iPhone 5. A leather front cover flips over the screen and is held with a magnetic closure for full bodied protection of the device. The soft fabric lining further prevents scratches and abrasions as well. The Altos is available in five luxurious premium leather colors: black, brown and red.
 
Pella – Shell Case
A minimalist shell-style case, the Pella provides the option for protection without adding bulk. A premium leather inlay, using color accented stitching, is sewn to an engineered polymer for superior protection. The Pella gives a sleek look and feel that is easy to snap on and off when desired. Additionally, the Pella case is designed to be usable with most charging docks without needing to be removed.
 
The Pella is available in five premium smooth leather colors: black, brown, red, white and tan; as well as two crocodile patterned leather colors: croco black, and croco brown.
 
Taos – Snap Wallet Case
Another new wallet style, the outside of the Taos is 100 percent premium European leather, while a plastic cradle inside securely snaps the iPhone 5 into place. A leather front cover, with soft lining, provides an added layer of protection, as well as style.
The Taos is available in three luxurious leather colors: black, brown, and red.
MAPi cases are hand crafted in Istanbul, Turkey using 100 percent, premium European leather. Cases are also available for other smartphones, such as the BlackBerry Z10, as well as the iPad and other popular tablets.
 
The new MAPi iPhone 5 cases, ranging from $25 to $55, are now available for pre-order on www.MapiCases.com and through retailers such as Amazon.com.
 
###
 
About MAPi Cases
MAPi Cases is the home of premium, high-quality leather cases and is becoming the quintessential brand for elegant and chique case styles for BlackBerry, Apple, Amazon and Samsung devices. All leather cases are handcrafted from 100% European leather and designed for elegance, style and function. MAPi Cases uses 100% premium quality leather, which is handcrafted at manufacturing facilities in Istanbul, Turkey, All MAPi Cases display the Eagle Insignia which is the symbol of quality and elegance. MAPi Cases is an LLC organized in Atlanta, GA. MAPi –Leather like no other.

Source: The Mac Observer.

They Found Another One: New Java Vulnerability Discovered.

Java Security Bug Exploit

9to5Mac

According to a blog post published yesterday (via IDG), browsers running Java v1.6 Update 41 and Java v1.7 Update 15 are currently vulnerable to a malware attack that installs a remote access tool known as McRAT. The exploit is reportedly different from the one used to attack Facebook, Twitter, Apple and several other companies last month.

FireEye recommends disabling Java until Oracle addresses the issue, saying: “We have notified Oracle and will continue to work with Oracle on this in-the-wild discovery. Since this exploit affects the latest Java 6u41 and Java 7u15 versions, we urge users to disable Java in your browser until a patch has been released; alternatively, set your Java security settings to “High” and do not execute any unknown Java applets outside of your organization.”

Safari users: To disable Java in the Safari browser: Go to Preferences>Security. Then make sure “Enable Java” is unchecked.

Instructions on how to uninstall Java on a Mac can be found on the Oracle website.

Source: MacTrast.

13 MLB stadiums to accept Passbook in coming season.

passbook-ios6-ogrady

If you are a fan of any of these 13 MLB teams, get excited: the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals. Why? Well, because these teams will all be taking advantage of Apple’s newest foray into mobile payments: Passbook. The MLB also said that there are 3 other teams that will be accepting the new ticketing system, however those have yet to make any official announcement. MLB tickets can be bought in the free MLB At Bat application.

MLB tickets were one of the main points of the Passbook application back when Apple announced the service with iOS 6, with Scott Forstall even showing how it could show your seat, row, and section. Finally, the MLB stadiums are beginning to adopt the slow growing service. Other companies including Fandango, Starbucks, and recently Delta Airlines also support Passbook. Personally, I believe there is a lot of potential in Passbook, however companies are taking longer to adopt it than many expected.

Source:TodaysiPhone.

“Do Not Disturb” bug will fix itself on January 7th, says Apple.

As some of you have noticed or read about, there is an apparent bug in Do Not Disturb following the introduction of 2013. Apple has finally acknowledged the issue by posting a page on the Apple Support website titled “iOS 6: Do Not Disturb mode stays on after scheduled time.” The symptoms are simply put as exactly what the bug entails, “After January 1st, 2013, Do Not Disturb mode stays on past its scheduled end time.” Here is the resolution provided:

Resolution

Do Not Disturb scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7, 2013. Before this date, you should manually turn the Do Not Disturb feature on or off.

To turn off the scheduling feature, tap Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb and switch Scheduled to Off.

That is a very specific date, don’t you agree? I’m sure many of you remember the alarm bug from last New Years, but at least this isn’t quite as bad (though I suppose you don’t need the alarm if you don’t go to sleep). I’m sure this is just something in the code of iOS that will make it kick back in on the 7th, but it is surprising it wasn’t noticed before it actually came time for the new year. Oh well, too late now. If you were one of the affected Do Not Disturb users, I’d recommend following Apple’s solution for the next few days.

Source: TodaysiPhone.

New York’s MTA releases Subway Time app, lets users know exact train arrival times.

New York’s MTA releases Subway Time app, lets users know exact train arrival times

The New York MTA (Metropolitan Transport Authority) has released an app that will allow users to access up to the minute information on when a subway train will arrive at their chosen station. The app which is called Subway Time will initially cover seven stations with more to come in the future.

MTA Subway Time gives you real-time train arrival information for selected routes of the New York City subway system. Knowing exactly when your train will arrive will reduce the time you spend waiting on the subway platform, and let you know of any service delays or reroutes before you pay your fare.

The seven lines that the app will provide up to the minute information for are Lines 1 through to 6 and the the 42nd Street shuttle. The service hasn’t come cheap either; according to the Wall Street Journal, new signalling technology and sensing equipment has cost the MTA a staggering $228 million to install over the last eleven years. Further additions to the lines covered by the app will roll out soon with the L line and No 7 line set to be added by 2016.

The data that feeds the official MTA app will also be made available to third party developers to incorporate into their apps too. This is a good move as the MTA’s Subway Time app could do with a bit of polish and user interface redesign. It certainly isn’t the most elegant app or that user friendly either. Also strangely enough it hasn’t been optimized for the iPhone 5’s larger screen either.

Source: iMore.