Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference Kicks Off June 13 in San Francisco

Apple today announced that it will hold its 27th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), hosting the creative talent behind the world’s most innovative apps, from June 13 through 17 in San Francisco. At WWDC, Apple’s developer community comes together from all corners of the globe to learn about the future of Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS.

Monday’s kickoff events, including the keynote address, will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The rest of the week’s conference sessions will take place at Moscone West.

“With four innovative operating systems and a new, intuitive programming language powering over 1 billion devices worldwide, there has never been a more exciting time to bring our developer community together,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “WWDC 2016 is going to be a landmark event for developers who are coding in Swift, and building apps and products for iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS. We can’t wait for everyone to join us — in San Francisco or through the live stream.”

Developers can apply for tickets via the WWDC website (developer.apple.com/wwdc/register/) now through Friday, April 22 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. Tickets will be issued to attendees through a random selection process, and developers will be notified on the status of their application by Monday, April 25 at 5:00 p.m. PDT. For the second consecutive year, there will be up to 350 WWDC Scholarships available, giving students and STEM organization members from around the world an opportunity to earn a ticket to meet and collaborate with some of the most talented developers of Apple’s ever-growing app ecosystem (developer.apple.com/wwdc/scholarships/). Additionally, this year, we will provide travel assistance to up to 125 scholarship recipients to ensure aspiring developers with financial limitations have an opportunity to participate.

WWDC 2016 activities include: over 1,000 Apple engineers supporting more than 150 hands-on labs and events to provide developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS technologies in their apps; access to the latest innovations, features and capabilities of iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS, and best practices for enhancing an app’s functionality, performance, quality and design; the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS developers from around the world — last year, 80 percent of developers attended for their first time, and in total, more than 70 countries were represented; a series of get-togethers for attendees focused on particular topics with special guest speakers and activities; engaging and inspirational lunchtime sessions with trailblazers and influencers from the worlds of technology, science and entertainment; and the Apple Design Awards which recognize iPhone®, iPad®, Apple Watch®, Apple TV® and Mac® apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design. Worldwide Developers Conference sessions will be streamed live throughout the week via the WWDC website (developer.apple.com/wwdc/live/) and through the WWDC app, giving developers around the world access to the week’s news and events.

iOS 9’s WiFi Assist could be using all your data

If you have data plan with a cap, it’s probably a good idea to dive into iOS 9’s Settings and turn off WiFI Assist.

The feature switches an iPhone’s data connection to the mobile carrier when it’s experiencing shoddy WiFi. If you have an unlimited data plan, it’s great –it ends the need to turn off WiFi when the local connection goes south and you can no longer load that hilarious goat video you found. It’s not so great, however, when you have a pretty low data cap and it switches from WiFi to cell without your knowledge.

If you’re part of the latter group, head to Settings > Cellular then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to turn off WiFi Assist to keep your mobile carrier from taking all your money on your next bill.

Apple release iOS 9 with Proactive Spotlight, new Siri, News app, iPad split-screen, better battery life, more

Apple has released iOS 9 to the public after 3 months of beta testing. To update to iOS 9 go to Settings>General>Software Update.

iOS 9 includes:

New Siri

New Siri UI with additional functionality. Such as photo lookups, reminders including when you get in and out of you car, contextual reminders about current app content. If you are in a message conversation, saying ‘Remind me about this’ understands the current context and adds a link to the message conversation as part of the Reminder.

Proactive and Intelligence

Intelligent features to help you based on context. Phone can look in email to find contact information on incoming call screens.

Apple says these new features are anonymous and happens on the device, nothing is sent to a server. It is not shared with third parties and can be disabled in Settings.

New Font

Like OS X El Capitan, iOS 9 includes a new system font. It closely resembles San Francisco.

Spotlight Siri Suggestions

Spotlight includes a new section which bubbles up relevant nearby locations and contact details. For instance, apps bubble up based on the current time.

Spotlight Search

Many new ways to search for content. This includes video search. Spotlight Search also has an API so third-party apps can integrate with the Spotlight view, to find content inside third-party apps. Spotlight has also been moved to the left of the first home screen.

iPad Split-Screen

Apple has finally expanded multitasking on the iPad to include split-screen apps. There is a new task switcher when double-clicking the Home Button. Other apps can be added to the side with a ‘slideover’ mini-app. Apps on the side remain docked as you switch between apps on the left screen. Side-by-side apps can be expanded to fill half of the screen. You can pull across at any time to make one app fill the display.

As a special case, you can even have picture-in-picture video. Videos in applications can be pulled to a little corner view which can be scaled up and down. Videos carry on playing regardless of how you use the rest of the iPad.

News App

The Newsstand app is gone, replaced and superseded by the News app. News brings together stories from many sources, in a rich and interactive user interface. This is similar in purpose to Flipboard. You can subscribe to many different feeds including some built in an ‘Apple News’ format which offers rich typography, fun animations and fluid layouts. The News app is also ensured to be private — it doesn’t share your data. Great content will be included from all sources: ‘local newspapers, blogs or special interest publication are all welcome’.

Updated Keyboard

The Keyboard now uses lowercase letters on buttons when typing in lowercase. This shows users more clearly when they have Shift key turned on or off, a frequent complaint on iOS 7 and iOS 8.

New Features In iOS 9 Notes App

Notes now supports rich text messages, with numbering and checklists. You can also add photos inline. A new drawing tool lets you sketch straight into the note. All of this data is kept up to date through iCloud.

Improved Battery Life And Low Power Mode

iOS 9 can improve battery life by up to 50% on certain tasks, with an additional one hour of battery for a typical iPhone charge. A low power mode turns some features off to enable users to get an additional 3 hours of battery out of their devices

iOS 9 Available on September 16

Apple® today announced iOS 9, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, will be available on Wednesday, September 16 as a free update for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users. iOS 9 makes iOS devices more intelligent and proactive with powerful search and improved Siri® features, all while protecting users’ privacy.

The way you interact with iPad gets even better with iOS 9, thanks to new multitasking features that let users view and interact with two apps at once, side by side. With Picture-in-Picture, users can play video while browsing the web, composing email or using other apps. Built-in apps become more powerful with a redesigned Notes app offering new ways to capture ideas, detailed transit information in Maps, and an all-new News app for the best news reading experience on any mobile device.

iOS 9 is packed with intelligence that makes every experience with iPhone and iPad even more powerful — Siri can do more than ever and new proactive assistance helps you get more done before you ask, all while protecting users’ privacy. With iOS 9 we focused on strengthening the foundation of iOS with a deep focus on quality, and with the help of more than one million users who participated in our first ever public beta program, we’re excited to release the best version of iOS yet.

— Craig Federighi, Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering

In iOS 9, every experience with iPhone gets even better, with new intelligence that works behind the scenes to present the right information at the right time. Proactive assistance presents the most relevant information at a given time of day and suggests actions at that particular moment based on the apps you use frequently and the time of day you use them. Siri features an all-new design, contextual reminders based on time and location, and new ways to search photos and videos. Search queries deliver more relevant results from more categories, including sports scores and schedules, simple math calculations, weather conditions and stock prices.

iOS 9 delivers new multitasking features designed specifically for iPad that allow you to do even more: Slide Over lets you simultaneously work in a second app without leaving the one you’re in and easily switch between your apps. Split View allows you to view and interact with two apps at the same time, side by side, and resize your view to prioritize one app over another. Picture-in-Picture lets you continue a video or FaceTime® call while using your favorite apps. Typing is faster and easier with an all-new Shortcut Bar that displays convenient editing tools, and new Multi-Touch™ gestures make it even easier to select, edit and move text. Built-In Apps The powerful built-in apps on iPhone and iPad are designed for all your essential, everyday tasks. In iOS 9, we’re delivering a completely redesigned Notes app, support for transit in Maps, an all-new News app and new capabilities in Apple Pay™.

The completely redesigned Notes app includes the ability to draw a quick sketch using your finger, easily create checklists to keep track of your to-dos or snap a photo directly in a note. Important items can be saved directly to the Notes app from other apps and are kept in sync across all your enabled devices with iCloud®.

Maps adds support for metropolitan transit systems and schedules, and subway station entrances and exits are precisely mapped. When you plan your trip, Maps can offer a combination of trains, subways, buses and walking, and presents you with what’s nearby, delivering options for local food, drinks, shopping and more.*

News delivers a reading experience that combines the rich, immersive design of a print magazine with the interactivity of digital media. News can learn your interests and suggest relevant content that’s easily shareable or saved for later, and delivers the best articles from more than 50 publishers, representing hundreds of titles from the world’s most influential news, sports, business and magazine brands, covering over one million topics.**

Foundation This latest release makes the foundation of iOS even stronger with refinements including battery optimization that provides a typical user with an additional hour of battery life, and a low-power mode to further extend battery life.* Software updates require less space to install and the Install Later feature can perform updates to your device when it’s not in use. Enhanced security features in iOS 9 keep your devices and Apple ID secure by strengthening the passcode that protects your devices and improving two-factor authentication by building it directly into iOS, making it harder for others to gain unauthorized access to your Apple ID. iOS 9 apps and the user interface now take advantage of Metal™ to deliver faster scrolling, smoother animation and better overall performance.

iOS 9 will be available beginning Wednesday, September 16 as a free software update for iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch 5th generation and later, iPad 2 and later and iPad mini™ and later. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages. 

What to expect from Apple’s 9 September Media Event

There has been very little news leading up to Apple’s Media Event on the 9 September however the last few days revealed some interesting news which we will sum up below.

iOS 9

Apple announced iOS 9 at WWDC back in June but they always keep something back that relates to the new iPhone which will be the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. Most of the updates in iOS 9 are performance related.

iOS 9 Golden Master will be released to developers after the even with the final software being released to the public on 16 September.

iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus

Apple will unveil the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Most of the rumours say that Apple will give both devices an updated camera along with Force Touch. Being a minor update to the iPhone there will be little in the way of new hardware. Most of the changes will come within iOS 9.

iPad Pro & iPad Mini 4

Apple is expected to release a 12,9inch iPad Pro and a updated iPad Mini that follows the design of the iPad Air 2, a A9 processor and improved display.

Apple Watch & WatchOS 2

New rumours suggest that Apple will release a new range of Apple Watch Sport’s bands and Apple WatchOS 2. There have been some suggestions that Apple will release Apple Watch 2 however this seems hard to believe as there are still rumours of Apple Watch being released in some countries in the coming months. South Africa is not included in these countries.

Apple TV

The Big announcement is most likely to be the new Apple TV. The all new Apple TV is expected to have a full featured App Store and have Siri integration along with a touch-based remote. The new Apple TV is likely to also include a subscription based TV service. The subscription based tv service will not be available at launch and will likely not be available in South Africa.

The new Apple TV is suggested to retail for $149 and $199. Prices in South Africa will most likely be R2999 and R3999 due to the rise exchange rate.

Apple Invites Media to September 9 Event: ‘Hey Siri, Give Us a Hint’

As predicted in August, Apple is planning to hold a media event on Wednesday, September 9 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. Media invites were sent out today, with Yahoo’s Alyssa Bereznak sharing a look at the artwork and tagline for the invitations: “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”

This year’s iPhone-centric event is expected to see the debut of the next-generation iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which, according to rumors, will include a reinforced body constructed from stronger 7000 Series aluminum, Force Touch, an A9 processor, 2GB RAM, and an improved camera.

Rumors have also suggested Apple will use the event to unveil the next-generation Apple TV, a major update from the existing set-top box. It will include a redesigned chassis with an A8 processor, more storage space, and a touch-based remote control, along with a new software system that includes Siri support and a full App Store.

We’ll also get an update on the launch dates of iOS 9 and watchOS 2, and shortly after the event ends, we may see golden master software releases for the two software updates ahead of their final public launch.

In line with past events, the September 9 iPhone unveiling will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple has not yet confirmed whether the event will be live streamed on its website and through the Apple TV, but it is likely details on a live stream will be announced a few days ahead of the event.

Apple Launches Apple Music and Beats1 Radio

Apple has released iOS 8.4 update with the launch of Apple Music and Beats1 Radio in over 100 countries.

People with a South Africa iTunes account can get Apple Music for R59.99 per month.

A Family plan is also available for R89.99 per month, offering access to the streaming service for up to 6 people.

iTunes users on Windows or Mac will have to ensure that they are running the latest version of Apple’s software to access the new music streaming service. An update is expected later today.

Android support for Apple Music will be coming “this fall” (September – November 2015).

iTunes Radio is still available under the radio tab in the music app.

iTunes Match is still a service offered by Apple for customers who aren’t interested in Apple Music. 

Need iTunes Store credit? Purchase an iTunes Gift Card

How to turn on iCloud Drive app in iOS 9

Hidden in the settings menu of  iOS 9, iCloud Drive will be getting its own dedicated app experience with the newest iteration of iOS.

To show the iCloud Drive app on your home screen follow these steps:

  1. Go to “Settings”
  2. Go to “iCloud”
  3. Go to “iCloud Drive”
  4. Turn iCloud Drive on
  5. Turn “Show on Home Screen” on.

Cloud Drive will now be displayed on your Home Screen and you will be able to access all your documents just like you would with Dropbox.

iCloud Drive App