Reviews

Adaptive UI in iOS 8: Explained

Gone are the early days of the App Store where there was just one iPhone for developers to target. Now there are original and widescreen iPhones, iPhone and iPads, in portrait or landscape, with standard and Retina displays. What are pixel-perfect developers and designers to do? According to Apple and iOS 8, use adaptive user interface (UI). Adaptive UI is meant to help rationalize a world with multiple devices, and let developers use a single storyboard in Interface builder to target different aspect ratios, screen sizes, orientations, and display densities. So, how does it work?

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Imagining iPhone 6: Design and display

The iPhone 6 is expected to be introduced at the 2014 iPhone event on September 9 in California. While alleged parts leaks (see the video below) have, like every year, kept us entertained while we wait, it'll only be then, when someone from Apple holds them on stage, that we'll see the real thing. However, it's still a worthwhile exercise to go through the rumors and the speculation and try to figure out what makes sense, both for Apple and for us as customers.

For the last 6 years, new iPhones have included a completely new design ever second year. For the last 4 years, they've included a completely new display target, in density or dimension, ever two years. This is every two years. So, if past behavior really can be used to predict future behavior, we'll get both a new design and a new display target with the iPhone 6. What could those be like?

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HomeKit in iOS 8: Explained

HomeKit is the name for Apple's home automation framework for developers. With HomeKit, our iPhones and iPads will have a rational way to configure, communicate with, and control "the internet of things" around us, including connected lights, speakers, security systems, appliances, and more. Both locally when you're home and remotely when you're away, through apps and through Siri, Apple's virtual personal assistant. HomeKit is doing all this seamlessly, but also securely and privately. So, how does HomeKit work?

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Touch ID in iOS 8: Explained

Touch ID is the name of Apple's personal fingerprint identity sensor. It's what currently lets you authenticate yourself to unlock your iPhone 5s and authorize iTunes and App Store purchases on your account. With iOS 8, Apple is making an application programming interface (API) available to developers as well so everything from your password manager to banking service to private photo vault can be both secure and convenient. But how's it going to work?

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Health in iOS 8: Explained

Health is the name for a new, built-in Apple app coming with iOS 8. It serves as both a repository for all the health-related data accumulated by your iPhone, your apps, and your accessories, and a dashboard to help you make better, more visual sense of it — a front-end for your quantified life. To facilitate all this, Apple is providing the HealthKit framework to developers and manufacturers. But how does it all work?

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Spotlight in iOS 8: Explained

Spotlight is the name of Apple's system-wide search feature on both the Mac and iOS. With iOS 8, Spotlight is getting some new smarts, including location and context awareness, so it can help you find not only what you're looking for on your iPhone or iPad, but on the web as well. But how does the new Spotlight work?

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Photos for OS X Yosemite: Explained

Photos for iOS 8 brings significant enhancements to the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, including the new iCloud Photo Library, favorites, smart search, smart editing, custom photo and sharing extensions, and PhotoKit so developers can get in on al the action. Apple announced it at WWDC 2014, and then they did something unexpected — they announced Photos would also be coming to the Mac. Rebuilt from pixel to bit, Photos for Mac won't arrive with OS X Yosemite this fall, but will arrive sometime early next year. So what does all of this mean for existing iPhoto and Aperture customers, and, going forward, photography on the Mac?

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Photos in iOS 8: Explained

The built-in Photos got its makeover last year as part of Apple's overall iOS 7 mobile redesign. This year iOS 8 is bringing Photos a much-needed functionality boost. In addition to new sharing and filter extensions, Photos is also getting a new sync solution courtesy of iCloud Photo Library, as well a bevy of new, non-destructive editing tools, and a new, smarter search system. So, how does it al work?

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The new Foursquare and why it might have you running back to Yelp

Foursquare recently stirred up the world of social check-ins by splitting its popular app into two parts — the original check-in functionality going to the new Swarm app, and the location discovery and information portion fully taking over the original app. Yes, it's confusing. Yes, it could have you reaching for the delete button, but could it also be for the better? Considering Foursquare is one of the only apps I use when traveling, the change made me both skeptical and nervous. Now that I have the new Foursquare in my pocket, will I remain loyal, or will I go running back to Yelp?

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iMessage in iOS 8: Explained

Messages is the most popular app on the iPhone and iPad, according to Apple. Given the enormous demand for instant messaging, and the integration Apple's provided with traditional carrier SMS (simple messaging service) and MMS (multimedia messaging service), that should come as no surprise. Neither, then, should the attention given to it in iOS 8. Not only is Apple making group messaging less maddening, but they're making sharing faster and easier as well, from location to media to voice to video. So does it all work?

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