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.

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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 seeds OS X Yosemite Public Beta 6 to testers

Apple on Monday pushed an update to the public beta of its next-generation desktop operating system, granting members of the prerelease program access to a sixth revision that brings it up to speed with the version released to developers late last week.

Apple seeds OS X Yosemite Public Beta 6 to testers

Apple seeds OS X Yosemite Public Beta 6 to testers

Public beta members will find the new version available via the Updates tab in the Mac App Store. While the exact changes are not enumerated, it likely matches up with the third “golden master” version that registered developers received last Thursday.

Such a public beta program is rare for Apple, who previously strictly limited access to unfinished software to developers. That remains the case for the company’s mobile operating system, iOS.

When announcing the public beta program, Apple indicated that they would accept up to 1 million beta testers. Though it is unclear how popular the program has been, sign-ups remain open, suggesting that they have thus far fallen short of that figure.

OS X Yosemite brings new Continuity and AirDrop features to OS X and iOS, which allow owners of devices running iOS 8 to perform cross-platform operations like creating ad-hoc data connections for transporting files, routing iPhone voice calls through a Mac and continuing in-app functions across devices. The next-gen operating system also incorporates a “flat” iOS-style user interface and other graphical tweaks.

Apple is expected to provide more detail about OS X Yosemite, and its release, at a media event on Thursday, Oct. 16. AppleInsider will be on hand at Apple headquarters in Cupertino and will bring live coverage from the event.

 

 

iOS 8 Update Released for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Apple has released iOS 8 for all compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. The update offers significant improvements and many new features to prior versions of iOS and is recommended for all users to install on their devices. If you haven’t done so already, it’s a good idea to prepare for iOS 8 before updating the system software.

iOS 8 Update Released for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

iOS 8 Update Released for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

iOS 8 is supported by the following hardware; iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, and iPod touch 5th generation.

How to Update to iOS 8 with OTA

The simplest way to update to iOS 8 is to use the Over-the-Air update mechanism on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  • Go to Settings app, then to “General”, and then to “Software Update”
  • Choose “Download & Install” when iOS 8 populates

The OTA download weighs in close to 1GB and requires nearly 5GB of free storage space on-device to install.

It’s always a good idea to back up your devices before installing an iOS update, at the very least make a quick backup to iCloud or, better yet, go all out and backup to both iTunes and iCloud before beginning.

How to Update to iOS 8 with iTunes

Users can also install the iOS 8 update through iTunes and a computer, though you’ll need to connect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a Mac or Windows PC with the latest version of iTunes to do that.

  1. Update iTunes if you haven’t done so already, then relaunch iTunes
  2. Connect the iOS device to the computer with USB
  3. Click on “Update” if the update option to install iOS 8 does not appear automatically

This updates to iOS 8 by downloading the update from Apple and using the computer to load it onto the iOS device, and it may or may not be faster to update your device this way, depending on a variety of conditions. One significant advantage to using iTunes is that it allows users to skip the “cannot install update” error due to storage capacity limitations on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

 

If you’re going to update through iTunes, be sure to backup the device to the same computer with iTunes before beginning the actual update process – or again – back up to both icloud and iTunes if possible.

Related to iTunes, users also have the option to download IPSW firmware files for iOS 8and install that manually onto their devices. That route is generally considered a more advanced procedure and is best reserved for individuals who have a good reason to go with the IPSW method. You can find direct downloads to iOS 8 firmware here.

Apple TV Update Revamps Interface

Apple also released an update for Apple TV, which changes the interface and icons a bit to be more in line with the bright colors of iOS 7 and iOS 8, as this image from MacRumors shows:

The Apple TV update also adds support for iOS 8 features, making it a good idea to update for those users who have a third gen Apple TV.

Apple TV users can get the update from Settings > General > Software Update

OS X 10.9.5 Update Released for Mac

Apple has released an update to OS X Mavericks, versioned as OS X 10.9.5. The update is recommended for all Mac users to install and includes bug fixes and security updates for core system software.

OS X 10.9.5 Update Released for Mac

OS X 10.9.5 Update Released for Mac

Two specific bug fixes are mentioned in the release notes of the update, the first being a resolution to some issues with VPN connections that use USB authentication, and the second aiming to resolve issues pertaining to access of SMB (Windows sharing) servers. The latter issue has frustrated a fair amount of Mac users who work in Windows PC heavy environments and share files between the two, making it a particularly welcome fix for some.

Safari 7.0.6 and related security updates and bug fixes are also included in the OS X 10.9.5 update.

All Mac users running Mavericks can find the update available through the Mac App Store, accessible via the  Apple menu and by choosing “Software Update”.

 

Separately, Apple also released iOS 8 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, which brings many new features and improvements to iOS, as well as a minor update to Apple TV.

Apple design chief Jonathan Ive calls iPhone 6 and Apple Watch its ‘best work yet

In a pair of interviews with ABC News following Tuesday’s big hardware debut, Apple CEO Tim Cook and SVP of Design Jony Ive discussed the trials and tribulations of designing the company’s first wearable device.  Apple design chief Jonathan Ive calls iPhone 6 and Apple Watch its ‘best work yet

Apple design chief Jonathan Ive calls iPhone 6 and Apple Watch its ‘best work yet

Apple design chief Jonathan Ive calls iPhone 6 and Apple Watch its ‘best work yet

Speaking with ABC News’ David Muir, Cook said Apple Watch came about after the death of company cofounder Steve Jobs, meaning the wearable is the first product category to be developed under Cook’s watch.  When asked what Jobs would think of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, Cook made it a point to mention the tech guru’s influence is being felt even now, nearly three years after his passing.

“I think he would be smiling today,” Cook said. “I think he would be so proud that he left a company that continued after him where he could clearly see his DNA at the foundation of it. You can see Steve written all over the products we did today.” Cook also handled questions related to Apple Watch security, a valid concern given the wearable will have access to sensitive information that, in some cases, could include payment information. Along with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple Watch has NFC built in to conduct touch-less Apple Pay payments.

The Apple chief said the wearable is the most secure solution on the market, noting credit card information is translated into a Device Account Number that is used in conjunction with a dynamically generated security transaction code. Apple Pay technology was first discovered in an Apple patent filing from 2012.

A final question from Muir asked about Apple’s “Made in America” initiative, to which Cook said parts, services and machinery from 22 states are being used in the production of Apple Watch and the latest iPhone product lines. As for Ive, Apple’s design chief said his team took years to get the Apple Watch right. One of the hardest issues to address was making a very personal device attractive to a wide swath of consumers. “We’ve always tried to make products that people don’t begrudgingly use, but that they want to use,” Ive said. “I think that the bar for that is very high when it’s something that you wear. And it’s something that you’re going to wear all day, every day.”

 

Apple Watch is expected to go on sale in early 2015 at a starting price of $349.