iOS

How would you change the Lock screen?

The Lock screen serves too diametrically opposed functions — to secure your iPhone or iPad against unauthorized access, and to provide convenient access to information and actions.

The original iPhone simply, delightfully let you swipe to unlock, with or without a passcode. Over time, Apple has added greater security to the Lock screen, including passwords, hardware encryption, Touch ID, PreBoard, and more. The company has also added greater convenience, including showing the time and date, alerts, wallpaper, optional direct access to Siri, Notification Center, Control Center, Passbook, motion wallpapers, Emergency Card, and more.

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iOS 8 review: Six months later

Six months ago Apple released iOS 8, the biggest update to the company's mobile operating system since the advent of the App Store in 2008.

Six months ago Apple released iOS 8, the biggest update to the company's mobile operating system since the advent of the App Store in 2008. We reviewed iOS 8 when it went live in September, and took a second look at iOS 8 three months later in our roundtable. Now it's been half a year, iOS 8.2 has been released, iOS 8.3 is already in beta, and adoption is inching close to 80 percent. So, it's time to take another look, six months later…

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Apple releases new beta of iOS 8.3 for developers, AppleSeed testers

Apple has released a new beta of iOS 8.3 to developers and AppleSeed testers. It is available for download over the air, or through the Apple Developer Center.

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What would you change about Control Center?

Control Center is a way to get at all your toggles, sliders, buttons, and basic actions, all in one place.

Since it's debut in iOS 7 back in 2013, Control Center hasn't changed much. Pull it up from the bottom of the screen and you get quick access to a variety of options. The top row gives you airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, do not disturb, and orientation lock. Next is a brightness slider. After that is media, including play, pause, skip, and volume. Then you have AirDrop and AirPlay. Last row is flashlight, timer, calculator, and camera.

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Siri and the potential for 'Voice ID'

Yell "Hey, Siri!" on podcast — or out loud at an event — and you'll get dozens of complaints from people whose phones suddenly went into voice mode.

That might sound like an edge-case for Siri, Apple's personal digital assistant, but here's something more common — a family charging station with several iPhones devices plugged in. How do you target yours and yours alone? How do you make sure only your voice can activate Siri on your iPhone or iPad? On your Apple Watch? In your car or around your house?

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iOS 8 adoption rate now stands at 77%

Apple's latest App Store distribution numbers show that iOS 8 has now been installed on 77% of all compatible devices as of March 16, 2015.

iOS 7 now stands at 20%, with all the older versions claiming a total of 3% of installs.

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Here's why you should turn on two-factor authentication

These days, simple passwords aren't good enough to secure your data. Hackers are too good, and security systems flawed. Longer complicated passwords created by generators like 1Password and Safari's iCloud Keychain can help, but the best way to lock down your accounts is to add extra authentication options.

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What would you change about Notification Center?

Notification Center is a way to collect all your widgets and alerts all in one place.

Since its debut in iOS 5, Apple has included first-party widgets, removed them, then added support for third-party widgets. Apple has added a missed tab and then taken it away. Apple has added predictive widgets — Notification Center can now tell you how long it will take to get to your next likely destination — but they haven't expanded on the concept. Apple also added Control Center to iOS 7. Instead of bundling toggles sliders, buttons, and shortcuts into the top-down Notification Center, they created a new, separate bottom-up drawer instead.

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iOS 8.3 beta now on Apple Seed, appears to be invitation only

Apple has started sending out email invitations to some members of the Apple Seed program, inviting them to beta test iOS 8.3.

Based on the contents of the email — some of us here received it — it looks like Apple is not doing a full-on public beta like they did for OS X Yosemite, but are instead inviting a subset of Apple Seed members to participate in the iOS 8.3 beta. In other words, not every Apple Seed member appears to be getting invited, so you shouldn't join Apple Seed expecting to get an iOS 8.3 invitation.

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Apple releases third developer betas of iOS 8.3, Xcode 6.3

Apple has released the third beta for iOS 8.3 for developers. Registered developers can grab the beta from Apple's Developer Center, or as an over-the-air update to any device with the previous beta installed.

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