Editorial

Family Sharing on iOS 8: Explained

iPhones, iPod touches, iPads everywhere — everyone in the family has devices and uses them for everything. One of iOS 8's key improvements is more convenient family sharing. This is what it is and how it works.

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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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Should Apple consider adding new board members?

Considering how successful Apple has been it's not unreasonable to wonder … does it make sense for Cook to add new members to the board of directors? That's what the Wall Street Journal reported earlier today. The crux was that the current board is from the Steve Jobs era, with most of the directors over 63 years of age, half of them having been on the board for more than a decade, if not longer. So, given all that, I think it does.

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Inter-app photo and video editing in iOS 8: Explained

Photo extensions are part of iOS 8's new Extensibility feature, one of the biggest platform advances since the launch of the App Store. With Photo — and video — extensions, we get the ability to access filters and effects from any app right inside Apple's Photos and Camera apps. So, how does inter-app photo and video editing work?

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Please do this before you upgrade to iOS 7.1.2!

iOS 7.1.2 has caused some problems for some iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. Here's how you can avoid ruining your day

Last week Apple released iOS 7.1.2, a maintenance update to iOS with some iBeacon, data transfer and Mail improvements. Most iPhone, iPod touch and iPad owners have been able to update with no issues. Some, however, have run into big problems with the update — enough to brick their device. If you haven't upgraded yet, follow these instructions before you do to help avoid problems.

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The secret history of technology

Mysteries isn't the right word. There's nothing mysterious about how the technology that shapes our culture and changes our lives came into being. It's a combination of profound insight and arduous work by incredibly talented people. That's why those stories — their stories — are so very important to us. They, the engineers and designers, are the crossroads of science and art, technology and humanity. They are why we have things like the iPhone and iPad, like Safari and Siri. And while not mysteries, their stories have remained largely untold. They've remained secrets. So, why am I repeating this particular refrain?

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