Editorial

iWatch and trying to predict the market size of mythical products

Everyone seems to believe an iWatch is coming. It's been talked about for ages, yet there have been no solid leaks on which to base any meaningful projections. The Pebble has been on the market for a while now. Android Wear is just now starting to ship. (Both pictured above.) It remains to be seen how successful "smartwatch" will be as a category in general. We can only guess that Apple's executive recruitment trends are geared towards turning the Cupertino mobile and computing giant into a luxury brand.

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iCloud Drive and Document Picker for iOS 8: Explained

iCloud Drive and its associated Document Picker are new features of iOS 8 that allow the app you're using to open files created in a different app, import them, move them, or export them right back out again, all without creating any unnecessary steps or complicated workflows. Everything is also automatically synced through iCloud, so changes made in one app won't only be reflected back in the original app that created the file, but on all your devices. It's yet another way inter-app communication has come to the iPhone and iPad. So, how do iCloud Drive and Document Picker work?

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If you're allergic to nickel and frequently use mobile devices like the iPad, consider using a case

Allergies are horrible. I say that as a person who's allergic to almost everything on the basic scratch test, and more. Plants, animals, minerals — all of them can induce reactions from the annoying to the miserable to the health-threatening. That includes nickel, which for years has made some people very, very careful about the type and purity of the metals they allow near their skin. Traditionally that's been jewelry frequently worn. Now it's also mobile devices, including the iPad and iPhone, frequently used.

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Samsung switches to advertising the iPad, knocking their own displays

Say what you want about Apple's ambitious Your Verse campaign for the iPad Air, but one thing you won't see in it is any device from any competitor. Like all of Apple's ads of late, it focuses exclusively on showing us what we can do with the technology in our hands, from the tops of mountains to the bottom of the sea. Samsung, on the other hand... well... where to begin?

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National Federation of the Blind wants to work with Apple on accessibility

A couple of days ago I wrote about Apple and accessibility, and the work they've done not only implementing but promoting accessibility — or better put, inclusivity. The same day an article from Reuters hit the wires that managed to mangle the story of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). It was unfortunate, but it has given the NFB a chance to tell it again, tell it directly, and hopefully to reach even more people.

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Happy 6th birthday, App Store!

In 2007 the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone, but it wasn't until July 10, 2008 that Apple launched the App Store and revolutionized how software was developed, distributed, discovered, and downloaded, not just on mobile but on computers. Today, just like how almost every phone has a large, capacitive touch screen and multitouch interactivity, almost every phone has platform-provided store where you can get apps to run on it. Just like the iPod had iTunes, the iPhone (and later iPad) had the App Store. And it turns 6 years old today!

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iOS 8 wish-list scorecard: How many came true?

Back before WWDC 2014 I wrote a series of posts detailing some of the things I wished very much to see from Apple in iOS 8. Some of them I'd been wishing for for years. Others I'd only just begun to think about. After the keynote I'd meant to go through and see just how many of my wishes had, coincidentally, come true. In all the excitement, however, it slipped my mind. Today, in light of some extra news, several people reminded me about it. So, here it is: Everything I asked for prior to WWDC 2014, what came true, and what I'm still waiting for!

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Improving graphics performance on OS X: Is Metal the answer?

I've previously discussed Metal in iOS 8 and why it's so important: Because reducing overhead imposed by OpenGL ES means games (and other apps) can run faster and more efficiently on the right iOS hardware. Can the same happen for OS X?

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Apple and accessibility: Pushing back against unacceptable realities

Accessibility is something that seldom gets the attention it deserves. Most of us go about our day without ever wondering how accessible an iPhone or iPad or Mac is to the blind or the deaf, to those with autism or motor disfunction, or how accessible the apps that run on them are. Yet there are people who do care deeply about accessibility. Those who need iPhones and iPads and Macs to be ever-more accessible, of course, and those working to make iPhone and iPads and Macs ever-more accessible. Among technology companies, Apple does a tremendous job not only implementing accessibility, but promoting it and prioritizing it as well. And it starts at the very top.

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Custom keyboards in iOS 8: Explained

Custom keyboard extensions, part of iOS 8's new Extensibility feature, allow developers to almost completely replace the default, system-wide iOS keyboard with ones of their own devising. (That's in addition to Apple's own, new QuickType predictive keyboard.) Not only does that include favorites from other platforms, like Swype or SwiftKey, but it opens the door to ones that offer new languages, novel input methods, special options, and more. So, how do the new custom keyboard extensions work?

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