iOS

Ten ways to pester and delight your friends on iMessage

Last week, Ally somewhat accidentally discovered that if you change an iMessage's group name on your computer, it changes the name for everyone on the thread. It not only led to some pretty hilarious griefing for our other co-workers, but got me thinking about other ridiculous tricks and trolls for making iMessage conversations a little more — shall we say — interesting. So here are ten ridiculous games, tricks, and other nonsense to keep you and your friends laughing throughout the day.

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Swift 1.2 features an improved compiler and Objective-C interactions

Apple's youngest programming language, Swift, received a fairly substantial update with today's first beta of Xcode 6.3, at least in beta form. The Swift 1.2 beta features an improved compiler that's both more stable and more speedy, as well as new Objective-C (the programming language that pre-Swift iOS apps were built on) interactions for building more capable hybrid apps.

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First iOS 8.3 beta seeded to developers before iOS 8.2 is even released

Apple today seeded to developers the very first iOS 8.3 beta, as well as a beta for Xcode 6.3 with the version 1.2 of the Swift programming language. Amusingly, this first release of the iOS 8.3 beta comes just a week after the fifth 8.2 beta — a version of the OS that has yet to see public release.

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iOS 9 likely to feature substantial stability improvements

The launch of iOS 8 hasn't been without its hiccups, and it seems that Apple is putting a lot of work into ensuring that its successor — we'll call it iOS 9 (seems like a safe bet) — irons out those kinks. iOS 8 adoption has lagged behind previous major version numbers of iOS, though it's worth noting that it is still doing quite well in comparison to the competition.

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U.S. iPhone sales top Android for the first time in two years

The latest report from research firm Kantar World Panel claims that sales of iPhones jumped ahead of Android devices in the US for the final quarter of 2014. Apple claimed 47.7% of the smartphone market, barely beating Android's 47.6% share. It's the first time that iOS has been ahead of Android in the US since the fourth quarter of 2012.

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iOS 8 adoption rate ticks up to 72%

Apple's latest App Store distribution numbers show that iOS 8 has now been installed on 72% of all compatible devices as of Feb. 2, 2015. iOS 7 now stands at 25%, with all the older versions claiming a total of 3% of installs.

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iOS 8.2 beta 5 is now available for developers to download

Apple has just released the fourth beta version of iOS 8.2 for software developers and others who have signed up to participate in the iOS 8 beta program. The over-the-air update should also be available from the Apple Developer Center.

To download the update over the air, simply go to Settings > General > Software Update on a device already taking part in the beta process for iOS 8.2. There's no word yet on what beta 5 contains, other than bug fixes and improvements. iOS 8.2 includes the WatchKit SDK, which will allow developers to make apps that will work on the upcoming Apple Watch.

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How to view WebM video on your iPhone or iPad

Google's WebM video file format has become nichely popular in the years since its debut. As a royalty-free alternative to H.264 standard, it's used for high-quality-but-low-bandwidth videos on sites like YouTube, Reddit, 4chan, and the like. I'm not going to get into the reasons why people might prefer WebMs to gifs, MP4s, MKVs, or FLVs; frankly, I see it as a personal/site-specific preference. But here's the thing: those people who desperately want to view WebMs on their iPhone? They run into a bit of a snag when using a mobile web browser.

Because Apple's QuickTime player codec doesn't support WebM. That means no WebM videos in Safari, no WebM videos in Chrome (which uses the same WebKit-based rendering engine on iOS), no WebM videos in any third-party browser or any app integrating a web view.

But don't woe over WebM just yet: There's a third-party app to save you from your troubles.

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iTunes Connect offline following login issues [Update: Back]

Update: iTunes Connect is now back online.

iTunes Connect, the portal Apple developers use to manage their apps, is currently offline. This follows several developers reporting login issues where they were presented with apps accounts not their own. That's obviously an incredibly serious problem, as evident by iTunes Connect being taken down.

Apple is no doubt aware of the issue and we suspect iTunes Connect will be back online when the login issues have been resolved.

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iOS Help: How to fix repeat iCloud sign-in requests on iPhone and iPad

This how-to is part of our iOS Help feature, where every week I try and help you fix the problems you're having with your iPhones and iPads. If you have a question or need help with something iOS related that you just can't figure out, I encourage you to drop a question in our iMore forums, no registration required!

This week's question comes to us from John:

Hi, On my iPhone 5S — running iOS 8.1 — I get repeated requests to sign in to my iCloud account (3 times in the past hour). Please tell me how to fix this.

Thank you, John

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