OS X El Capitan Developer Beta 2 Released for Testing

Apple has released the second developer beta version of OS X El Capitan 10.11 to Mac users who are part of the registered Apple Developer program.

Apple has released the second developer beta version of OS X El Capitan 10.11 to Mac users

Apple has released the second developer beta version of OS X El Capitan 10.11 to Mac users

The updated build arrives as 15A204h and is officially labeled as OS X El Captain Developer Beta 2 1.0, separately, a second beta version of OS X Server 5.0 is also available.

Those participating in the Mac developer programs can find the downloads through the software update function of the Mac App Store, otherwise they can initiate the initial download through the Mac Dev Center website. Note if you wish to build a bootable El Capitan install drive, you will need to download the fresh installer rather than the update.

The developer releases remain intended for advanced users who are building software and testing for the future OS X 10.11 release, developer beta builds are buggy and not aimed at public usage. With that said, Mac users who do wish to run OS X El Capitan Public Beta will be able to do so in the coming month, otherwise the final release will be available this fall.

OS X El Capitan is said to heavily emphasize performance, stability, and refinements, with many under-the-hood changes which should bring welcome improvements to the Mac. Additionally, there are handfuls of new and revised features, including a revised Mission Control, a new split screen view, a new system font, enhancements to Spotlight search, and more.

Additionally, Apple has also released a second beta version of iOS 9, and of Watch OS 2.0, both are also currently exclusive to developers.

iOS 9 Beta 2 Released for Developer Testing

Apple has released the second beta version of iOS 9 for compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. The new beta build is 13A4280e and can be downloaded as firmware through the Apple Developer Center, or as an over-the-air update on a device currently running the prior iOS 9 beta through Settings > Software Update.

iOS 9 Beta 2 Released for Developer TestingiOS 9 Beta 2 Released for Developer TestingiOS 9 Beta 2 Released for Developer Testing

iOS 9 Beta 2 Released for Developer Testing


Much like the prior version, the new build can technically be installed on any device without UDID activation, though that is strongly not recommended. Users who are curious about running iOS 9 are better off waiting for the official iOS 9 Public Beta program to launch in the coming weeks, if not being a bit more patient for the final stable release due out this fall.

It remains possible to downgrade from iOS 9 back to iOS 8 if you happen to update to the unstable beta builds and would like a return to a regular version.

iOS 9 includes a variety of new features, with a heavy emphasis on refinements and intelligent changes rather than big additions. With smart recommendations based on habits and device usage, a smarter Siri, revamped keyboard, and a new focus on battery optimization, and, for newer iPad users, an all new multi-tasking mode with split screen functionality and Picture-in-Picture hovering displays.

Separately, Apple has released a beta of Watch OS 2 (and has since pulled it for some reason), and  OS X El Capitan Developer Beta 2 as well. An updated version of Xcode 7 beta 2 is also available for developers to download.

Foxconn may build Apple iPhone plant in India, could reduce local costs

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is reportedly in talks to open a new iPhone assembly plant in India, potentially allowing the handset to achieve lower prices and boost sales in the growing market.

India

In addition to iPhones, Foxconn is also said to be looking to build iPads and iPods in India, for both local and international sales, according to Reuters. Details on Foxconn’s alleged plans were shared by Subhash Desai, Industries Minister of the state of Maharashtra in India.

Publicly, Foxconn has said it plans to build up to a dozen facilities in India by the year 2020. But on the subject of an Apple-specific plant in the nation of over a billion people, the manufacturer declined to comment.

Foxconn has historically built devices in China, but in recent years has shown interest in strategically expanding around the world, to better serve certain markets. For example, the company expanded to Brazilin 2011 and does build some iPhones there, though ramp-up in the South American country has been slower than anticipated.

An expansion to India would be a key strategic move for both Apple and Foxconn, allowing the companies to offset rising wages in China. With lower production costs, Apple could also get more aggressive with iPhone pricing in the country, where it trails behind South Korea’s Samsung and local Indian manufacturers like Micromax.

In recent years, Apple has boosted sales in India through a variety of different strategies, including payment plans to mitigate the up-front costs of buying an iPhone, as well as partnering with resellers for retail storefronts. The debut of the larger-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are also said to have boosted interest in India, though costs are believed to remain a prohibitive factor.

Despite a population that tops 1.2 billion, India remains one of the poorest countries in the world — its nominal per-capita GDP of just $1,509 is far below China’s $6,959 and barely outpaces that of war-torn nations like South Sudan, according to data from the International Monetary Fund.

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets featuring Apple Watch San Francisco font, Swift code

Attendees registering for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference are being given a familiar jacket with a new flourish: text set in the company’s new internally created San Francisco font, along with a clever reference to Apple’s recently released Swift language.

The windbreaker-style swag jacket lacks an Apple logo, instead simply stating “WWDC 2015” on the front with a large “15” on the back, nearly identical to the jackets Apple gave attendees last year.
There are a couple differences, principally the use of the San Francisco font that alludes to the company’s new Apple Watch, which promises to get prime developer attention at the week-long conference.

 

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

WWDC attendees greeted with jackets

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Apple’s new iOS 9 and the next 10.11 version of OS X will also adopt the new font as their system default, providing a freshened appearance that harmonizes the overall appearance of the company’s platforms.

While similar in style to the fog-resistant polyester-spandex jackets from WWDC 2014, this year’s jackets also sport invisible zippers for their front pockets (as opposed to the open pockets last year).

While the fleece-lined, albeit lightweight, jacket might seem out of season in California in the month of June, San Francisco is infamous for its June Gloom, where days may be sunny but as soon as the sun goes down the fog rolls in and temperatures can plunge below their lowest point from the calendar’s winter.

In another coy reference to its technology, Apple has outfitted its jackets with a garment tag that designates its size and comments that it was “Made in the USA” using code written in Swift, the new programing language introduced at last year’s event.

The tag reads: ‘let jacketSize = “Medium”‘ and “// Made in the USA,” following Swift’s conventions for assigning variables and adding code comments, in numbered lines and color coded text familiar to Apple’s Xcode developers.

A few attendees are already lined up outside the Moscone West convention center, ready to sleep on the sidewalk tonight in order to be among the first to grab seats. Registration staff noted that Keynote attendees should be able to get a good seat if they’re “in line by 5 am,” but added that this year Apple will make sure everyone in attendance will get a seat.

Those not at the conference will be able to watch the WWDC Keynote via a live feed starting at 10 AM PST, via the web or Apple T

Apple begins preparing Moscone Center for WWDC as first banners start to go up

With WWDC coming up next week, Apple has started preparing for the big day. Following the launch of the Apple TV channel for the keynote stream yesterday, the company has started decorating Moscone West with Apple logos and banners.

WWDC 2015 banner

WWDC 2015 banner

As spotted by MacStories and followed up by images from our own Tom Maxwell, the first bits of a large Apple logo on one side of the building have already been put up. There’s not much more to see at the moment, but many more banners are expected to go up in the coming days. As in previous years, some of them will likely be covered to prevent news about upcoming announcements from getting out early.

Apple is expected to announce the next versions of its iOS and OS X software during the event.

WWDC 2015 banner

WWDC 2015 banner

 

Why Wait for OS X 10.11? How to Use the San Francisco System Font on OS X Yosemite Now

OS X 10.11? How to Use the San Francisco System Font on OS X Yosemite Now

OS X 10.11? How to Use the San Francisco System Font on OS X Yosemite Now

Apple is apparently planning on replacing Helvetica Neue, the current default system font in iOS and OS X, with the ‘San Francisco’ font used on Apple Watch, according to a new report from the well sourced 9to5mac. The font change to “San Francisco” will apparently arrive to OS X 10.11 and iOS 9, but if you don’t want to wait for the next version of Mac OS, you can modify your OS X Yosemite system font now to replace Helvetica Neue with San Francisco, and it looks a whole lot better than Comic Sans. Comic Sans joking aside, the San Francisco font actually looks pretty great, so if you’re up for a change or want an idea of what the next version of OS X may bring to the UI, here’s how you can get a sneak peak yourself.

Replacing the Helvetica Neue OS X Yosemite font with San Francisco is super easy to do and undo. You should probably backup your Mac before doing this, though it’s unlikely anything would go wrong in the process, it’s just good practice. Once you’re backed up, here are the simple steps to change the font on the Mac to San Francisco:

    1. Download the SanFrancisco font pack from github (direct link here) and extract the zip file
    2. From the OS X Finder, hit Command+Shift+G to bring about Go To Folder, and enter the following path:

~/Library/Fonts/

  1. Drop the downloaded font files into ~/Library/Fonts/, then reboot the Mac for changes to take effect (you can also try to just log out and back in, but sometimes fonts will render weird gibberish if you don’t reboot)

When the Mac logs back in you’ll find the new San Francisco font from Apple Watch to be the default system-wide in OS X. Here’s a screenshot of what this looks like, via 9to5mac, click to enlarge:

osx10-11

Uninstalling the fonts is as simple as navigating back to ~/Library/Fonts/ and moving all the font files into a new folder, or moving them out of the ~/Library/Fonts/ folder in general, then rebooting again.

The thin Helvetica Neue font currently used in OS X and iOS has been somewhat controversial, some users find the font to be difficult to read, particularly on non-retina displays. Apple later added a ‘bold fonts’ option to iOS which improved readability for those users, but such a feature remains missing in OS X Accessibility options.

Prior to OS X Yosemite, OS X used Lucida Grande as the system font, which can also be used to replace the Helvetica Neue system font in Yosemite if desired (changing to Lucida Grande is my personal preference for system font on the Mac).

For those on the iOS side of things, you’ll have to wait until iOS 9 comes out to use the San Francisco font, as there is no way to change system fonts on iPhone or iPad. Here’s a sneak peak of what that could look like on iPhone, courtesy of 9to5mac:

It’s worth pointing out that 9to5mac mentions the system font change to ‘San Francisco’ face in OS X 10.11 and iOS 9 could always be canceled or pushed back, so you may want to hang onto these alternate font files just in case you want to use them again in the future.

WWDC 2015 Starts June 8, New Versions of iOS & OS X Expected

Apple has announced their annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place June 8 through June 12 in San Francisco, California. Though WWDC is a developer centric conference, Apple typically unveils new versions of iOS and OS X on the first day of the event, making it notable for regular Apple product users as well. The assumption is that a successor to OS X Yosemite versioned as 10.11 will be unveiled alongside iOS 9. Occasionally, Apple also unveils new products at WWDC as well, and there is ongoing speculation that a new Apple TV with an App Store could arrive during the event.

Tickets to attend WWDC 2015 are $1599 and require applying to be randomly selected to purchase and attend the event. Scholarships are also available.

WWDC 2015 Starts June 8, New Versions of iOS & OS X Expected

WWDC 2015 Starts June 8, New Versions of iOS & OS X Expected

Those interested in learning about about WWDC can find added details on the official Apple website

The official press release from Apple promoting the event is found below:

“CUPERTINO, California—April 14, 2015—Apple® today announced that it will hold its 26th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) June 8 through June 12 at San Francisco’s Moscone West, with more sessions than ever before streamed to developers. At WWDC, Apple’s renowned developer community will come together to learn about the future of iOS and OS X®, helping them continue to create the most innovative apps in the world. WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions, over 1,000 Apple engineers, hands-on labs to help developers integrate new technologies and fine tune their apps, as well as the Apple Design Awards which showcase the best new apps in the last year.

“The App Store ignited an app ecosystem that is simply amazing, forever changing the lives of customers and creating millions of jobs worldwide,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We’ve got incredible new technologies for iOS and OS X to share with developers at WWDC and around the world, and can’t wait to see the next generation of apps they create.”

Developers can apply for tickets via the WWDC website (developer.apple.com/wwdc/tickets) now through Friday, April 17 at 10 a.m. PDT. Tickets will be issued to attendees through a random selection process, and developers will know the status of their application by Monday, April 20 at 5 p.m. PDT. There will also be up to 350 WWDC Scholarships available, giving students and members of participating STEM organizations around the world the chance to earn a free ticket (developer.apple.com/wwdc/scholarships).
WWDC 2015 activities include:
• more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers on a wide range of topics for developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and OS X technologies;
• over 1,000 Apple engineers supporting more than 100 hands-on labs and events to provide developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS and OS X technologies in their apps;
• access to the latest innovations, features and capabilities of iOS and OS X, and best practices for enhancing an app’s functionality, performance, quality and design;
• the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iOS and OS X developers from around the world—last year more than 60 countries were represented;
• a series of get togethers for attendees focused on particular topics with special guest speakers and activities;
• engaging and inspirational lunchtime sessions with leading minds and influencers from the worlds of technology, science and entertainment; and
• Apple Design Awards which recognize iPhone®, iPad®, Apple Watch™ and Mac® apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.
Select Worldwide Developers Conference sessions will be live streamed throughout the week via the WWDC website (developer.apple.com/wwdc/videos) and the WWDC app, giving more developers around the world access to the latest information in real time. Videos from all technical sessions will also be available by the end of each day.
Visit the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2015 website (developer.apple.com/wwdc) to apply for a ticket, as well as for updates and more information.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.”