iPad, News/Rumors

Typo announced $189 iPad keyboard case

Typo Innovations announced that it will start selling its iPad Air keyboard case at Apple Stores and through its website.

The announcement comes just two days after its recent settlement with BlackBerry that forbids it from making iPhone keyboards. According to the agreement, Typo can’t be sold for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus due to its similar look and functionality as the physical keyboard found on most BlackBerry devices. 

Typo was previously sued by BlackBerry over the case multiple times for design infringement, and it finally made up the decision to give up and focus on tablets.

Typo’s new keyboard case for the iPad costs $189, and is available for the iPad Air and Air 2, and soon the iPad mini 1,2 and 3. The company is also accepting pre-orders for an iPad mini version of the keyboard.

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The company revealed little information regarding the new case itself, such as battery life and other specifications. However, there is information that it has full-size keys, a unique friction hinge for different viewing angles, special software with auto-correct, and according to CNET says it measures 5.5mm thin.

Apple TV, News/Rumors

Apple TV updated with NatGeo TV channel

Apple updated the Apple TV with a brand new NatGeo TV station from the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild channel, offering popular National Geographic shows and content to the company’s set-top box. National Geographic first revealed its plans to introduce an Apple TV channel in November. 

Apple’s latest channel brings next day full episodes of shows and documentaries covering science, history, culture, and more. The new NatGeo TV channel on Apple TV also includes videos you can watch for free, but the app does require signing in with an active cable subscription to unlock the full experience as well as viewing full episodes the day after they air.

The new channel features several sections such as Featured, Shows, Categories, and Settings. Categories include sections like Adventure, Animals, History, People, Science, Technology, Travel, and more. Nat-Geo-Apple-TV-channel

The new channel will be added automatically after some time, or you can restart your Apple TV from the Settings channel to manually refresh and add it. If you don’t want the channel, catch up on your How-To tutorial for rearranging and personalizing your Apple TV channels.

The newly available channel was announced just days before Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. The company is expected to present an entirely new set-top box, updating the Apple TV for the first time in years.

News/Rumors

Apple is in talks with Drake,Pharrell Williams, DJ David Guetta for a revamped iTunes Radio

As Apple is getting ready to relaunch an updated version of its free-to-stream iTunes Radio service, the company is reportedly in talks to sign Toronto-born rapper Drake, hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams and electronic music DJ David Guetta as guest DJs for a revamped service.

According to multiple sources, Apple is negotiating a $19 million deal to have Drake serve as a guest DJ for iTunes Radio. Along with Drake, the company is in similar talks with Pharrell and Guetta, though financial estimates of their arrangements were not revealed. 

In addition to the news of the musicians talks, the free trial option for the upcoming Beats-based streaming service will be three months in length. During this time, the iPhone maker plans the record labels to give up the music to the company for free.

Apple Music will reportedly feature the key features of Pandora, Spotify and YouTube, as well as streaming music and video, artist pages, a YouTube-style sharing section called Apple Connect and an improved version of iTunes Radio. The company also planned to add lyrics as part of the service, but does not intend to pay extra to record labels to offer the feature. 

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Apple is believed to introduce its new streaming music service on June 8 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The company will reportedly push customers to sign up for Apple Music by offering SoundCloud-like sharing, exclusive content and the aforementioned three-month free trial period.

News/Rumors

Pixelmator for iPhone is a powerful mobile image editor

Beginning today, Pixelmator for iPhone allows its users to touch up images, apply fancy effects to photos and much more. The app can be downloaded as a free update to Pixelmator for iPad, and is now a universal app supporting any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.3 or later.

According to Pixelmator cofounder Saulius Dailide, the app is the first mobile image editor to boast “all the tools” photographers, painters and graphic designers need to create masterpieces.

Probably the most impressive feature of the app is its powerful graphics engine that offers prompt color adjustments, effects application, stylized painting, text and object generation, multiple layer support and more. As an example, users can apply screenshots with different color adjustments using existing filters or manually.

Pixelmator-2.0

Pixelmator includes the powerful Repair tool from the iPad edition, as well as a number of new features, including the new Distort tools and a brand new Clone tool which all take advantage of Apple’s Metal framework in iOS 8 for hardware-accelerated graphics.

In addition, the app for iPhone brings all of the photo effects and filters you’ve used in the iPad and Mac editions, such as advanced retouching tools for seamless removal of unwanted objects from photos.

Pixelmator

The app comes with more than 100 brushes, including pencil tips, sponges, spray cans, each of which contains scaling and transparency adjustment options. One of the key features is what Pixelmator calls wet-painting technology. The feature generates lifelike water splotches and runs.

Pixelmator is available for $4.99 on the iOS App Store. If you already have Pixelmator for iPad, then the iPhone version can be downloaded for free.

News/Rumors

iOS bug crashes iPhones by receiving a text message

A new iOS bug that allows pranksters to crash a victim’s iPhone by sending a text message from their own iPhone has been discovered.

A user found out that getting the Unicode characters through Apple’s iOS Messages app results in iPhone restarts, lockouts from Messages, Springboard crashes and more.  If this Arabic script is received while the device is on the lock screen, it also causes your iPhone to reboot without any notice or explanation. The bug was originally noticed on reddit and has been spreading around the Internet since then.

When a text or iMessage including the text string is received and presented in the lock screen or as a drop-down notification, iOS gobbles up resources attempting to render the message, automatically causing Springboard to crash. However, the same Arabic script doesn’t cause issues when received as part of a normal Messages conversation, suggesting the problem lies in part with iOS Notifications.

Bug

This isn’t the first time a bug like this has been discovered. Apple usually solves the problem in a timely matter, but until it’s fixed it is a rather serious issue. Fortunatelly, the ability to crash Messages and reboot someone’s iPhone is limited to iPhone to iPhone communication and a certain specific strand of text.

In the meantime, a number of workarounds are possible. You are recommended to have the user who sent you the malicious message send another message effectively canceling out the initial strand. Or you can send yourself a message via Siri, the share sheet, or from your Mac.

News/Rumors

Emoji candidates for 2016’s Unicode 9 include selfie, bacon, and avocado

The Unicode Consortium published a list of 38 emoji characters that join Unicode 9.0, which is scheduled to be released in the middle of 2016. These characters are likely to be available on iOS and Mac devices in the future.

Among the candidates are various character emoji, including “face with cowboy hat to “drooling face” and “lying face.” In addition, there is a “Selfie” emoji, which is a hand with a camera in the list. Candidates can also include food emoji represented by croissant, avocado, cucumber, bacon, potato, and carrot. Finally, the list features a number of proposed animal emojis: fox face, eagle, duck, bat, shark, and owl.

New emoji candidates are still waiting for approval and some of them can even be excluded before Unicode 9 is released in 2016, and it’s also possible that additional characters could be added to the list.

emojicandidates

The emoji waiting for inclusion in Unicode 9 are separate from those that will be included in Unicode 8.

New emoji candidates proposed for Unicode 8 feature zipper-mouth face, nerd face, thinking face, robot face, hugging face, hot dog, burrito, taco, cheese wedge, popcorn, and unicorn face and others.

It is still unclear if and when Apple will adopt the Unicode 8 and Unicode 9 emoji as it still has not included the Unicode 7 emoji that were ready in June of 2014.

News/Rumors

Apple Store app updated with support for Touch ID, two-step verification

Following the update, bringing support for Apple Watch last month, the Apple Store app on iOS has been updated with a number of highly requested features.

Apple Store version 3.3 added additional security: Apple ID two-step verification. To use the security feature, Apple ID account owners are required to have enabled two-step verification through the My Apple ID webpage. The option is placed under in the “Edit your Apple ID” menu under “Password and Security.” When the activation is completed, users will be asked to enter the password associated with their Apple ID, as well as a four-digit verification code sent by the system to a trusted device. 

Apple launched two-step verification more than two years ago, so it’s definitely a nice addition for the Apple Store app.

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“Touch ID” option in the Account section of the app lets users enable Touch ID for viewing orders, accessing EasyPay receipts and reservations at an Apple Store. Touch ID usage was previously limited to Apple Pay for making purchases, but with the expanded Touch ID capabilities, accessing different sections of the app to receive order information is much quicker. 

Apple’s Apple Store app is available for download from the App Store for free.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Kinkoo-6-port USB charger

Searching for a powerful charger?Check out the Kinkoo’s 6-port charger.

Kinkoo is a family-sized desktop USB charger with iPower Technology for iPhone, iPad Air 2, Samsung Galaxy, Nexus, HTC, Nokia and more.

The new charger has six USB ports so you can charge all your devices at the same time. Kinkoo delivers to your device its fastest possible charge speed up to 2.4 amps. In addition, the charger can charge your devices up to 85% faster compared with regular conventional charger.

Moreove, it can intelligently identify your gadget and offer the current accordingly for that device. When a device is plugged in, you will see a soft blue LED.

Kinkoo is made of industry grade materials and premium circuitry. This charger is CE, FCC and RoHS certified to guarantee complete safety and reliability. Kinkoo was made for the European, USA and Japanese markets. You will have access to 100-240 volt input, which is ideal for international travel. Kinkoo is 4.1 × 2.2 × 0.9 inches.

Kinkoo2

Finally,  Kinkoo comes packaged in a durable design that’s compact enough to stay out of the way.

The new charger is currently available for $39.90 via the company’s site.

News/Rumors

Universal debuts first trailer for ‘Steve Jobs’ movie

Universal Studios has finally released the first trailer for the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic. The new video offers the first on-screen look at what to expect from the film and Michael Fassbender, who plays the late Apple cofounder.

The trailer features mostly Michael Fassbender as Jobs, with cast voice overs giving snippets and teases of conversations regarding Jobs’ true legacy at Apple. Then, the video provides closer looks at Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet, and Jeff Daniels as Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Joanna Hoffman, and John Sculley, respectively. 

It is known, that this Jobs Biopic includes only three scenes. In each scene, Jobs is debuting a product of his creation.

From Universal’s official release:

Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, STEVE JOBS takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.

The film, which was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, will hit theaters in October.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple refutes rumors of delayed HomeKit launch

On Thursday, in a statement provided to The Wall Street Journal, the company has refuted rumors of delays, saying that the first HomeKit accessories will be available next month. That means HomeKit will truly see its official debut in the near future, perhaps at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Yesterday, Apple has pushed back an official HomeKit launch to fall after key software components “blew up.”

“HomeKit certification has been available for just a few months and we already have dozens of partners who have committed to bringing HomeKit accessories to market,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told The Journal. “We’re looking forward to the first ones coming next month.”

Apple introduced the HomeKit framework as a future iOS product at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2014.  It is the company’s platform that links several home automation devices together with a single set of protocols to allow them to be controlled through the Apple ecosystem. Apple has also revealed a demo version of HomeKit back in June. homekit

Apple finalized its HomeKit specification in October and began accepting applications for device certification in November.