Editorial

Extensibility in iOS 8: Explained

Extensibility, one of the new features coming to iOS 8 this fall, is one of the most significant advancements since the launch of the App Store in 2008. With Extensibility, apps can project widgets into Notification Center's today view, provide custom upload and update functionality, and custom actions in Share Sheets, hook filters into the Photos app, provide custom keyboards system-wide, and access your files anywhere via iCloud Drive or third-party document providers like Dropbox or Google Drive. And they can do all this while maintaining the high level of security built into iOS. So, what are they and how do they all work?

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Apple is close to an all-time high and I'm not selling a single share

Last night Apple published its financial results for Q3 fiscal 2014. iMore has already posted a very detailed set of notes from the quarterly conference call, so I'll just recap a few key numbers and then dive into what I think the quarter means to Apple longer term. As per usual, keep in mind I do own shares in the company and I have no plans to sell them anytime soon. My comments represent my thinking and you should not interpret any of this as investing advice.

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If IBM deal can drive enterprise penetration, the walls will shake

During its Q3 2014 conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook elaborated on the recently announced IBM partnership, and as expected it's all about the penetration. While Apple's iPad, for example, has been deployed by 93% of the Global 500, the penetration is only about 20%. That's great breadth, not so great depth. By contrast, Cook pointed out, laptops in general enjoy 60% penetration. If Apple + IBM could drive iPad much greater iPad penetration, the "walls would shake".

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Document provider extensions in iOS 8: Explained

Document provider extensions in iOS 8 are part of the new Extensibility system and allow the features from Document Picker and associated file handling to go beyond iCloud Drive to encompass enterprise storage and popular online services like DropBox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, and more. Because it ties into the same system and works the same way, as long as they implement the extension, Apple's making it just as easy to use anyone else's online storage as it is to use iCloud Drive. So, how does it work?

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Apple reaffirms it has never worked with any government agency to create a backdoor in any product or service

On July 18, Jonathan Zdziarski, a former iOS jailbreaker and current iOS forensic scientist and law enforcement consultant, gave a talk at the HOPE X conference in New York City. Zdziarski's talk was on backdoors, attack points and surveillance mechanisms in iOS. In the talk he alleged that there are a number of ways for government agencies, including law-enforcement, to get at the personal data you store on your iPhone, iPod touch, and/or iPad. Zdziarski posted slides from the talk, based on an earlier journal publishing, on his website a couple of days ago. They've since been shared via other websites and social networks, and a lot of confusion and concern has arisen.

When reached for comment, Apple reiterated to iMore that it has never worked with any government agency to create a backdoor in any product or service:

"We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues," Apple told iMore. "A user must have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer before that computer is able to access this limited diagnostic data. The user must agree to share this information, and data is never transferred without their consent."

As we have said before, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services."

So, what's going on here?

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Mac gamers deserve better than half-assed iOS game ports

iOS game developers, please stop messing up your Mac conversions

Developers, please stop sticking your games on the Mac App Store just because you can. I'm tired of digging through games with control schemes that make them a chore instead of fun.

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Editor's desk: The difference between liking something and thinking it's good

I watch a lot of movies and TV shows. Not all of them are good. Not all of them have the most captivating actors, the most polished scripts, the most engaging direction, or the highest production values. Some of them are, to put it kindly, silly, awkward, rough around the edges, and in one way or another complete and utter rubbish. Yet, I love them. Likewise, there's are some beautiful, brilliant, magnificent works of art that I just don't like. Not one bit. Why is that?

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In-app purchases and the App Store: What every parent needs to know

In-app purchases (IAP) can seem like complicated, confusing things, especially if you're a parent new to the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and App Store, and trying to figure it all out for yourself and your kids. If you're already concerned about spending, if you're already stressed by technology, if you're already juggling as much as you can, then in-app purchases gone wild can sound downright scary. Sadly, that's largely because of stories, needlessly sensationalistic stories, portraying IAP as scary. Stories that, instead of empowering parents to take control, paint them as hapless victims whose families are completely beyond control. Luckily, Apple provides tools for any parent to effectively manage their children's App Store activities, including in-app purchases, and there are even more on the way soon.

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A bigger iPod touch: Engineered for even more funness?

In late June Apple rejiggered the iPod touch line, making a consistent feature set across the line, dropping the price and lowering the cost of additional storage capacity. It's probably enough to provoke some short-term sales increases of the iPod touch, but I'm more interested in what comes next. What I'd really like to see is a bigger iPod touch.

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Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory — how one iPod can make a world of difference

Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory, the Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary by Michael Rossato-Bennett that opens today in the U.S., soars on a single, inescapable note — that for people suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia, iPods and personal playlists can make a transformative difference.

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