Apple has made some efforts to give you relevant info when you need it (such as iOS’ Today screen), but it hasn’t really had a response to Google Now, which brings you everything from timely directions to cheap flights. According to 9to5Mac‘s sources, however, that’s going to change soon. The crew at 1 Infinite Loop is reportedly working on Proactive, an effort to unite Siri, contacts, schedules and apps in a way that surfaces info at just the right time. A revamped Spotlight search screen in iOS will automatically fill with content based on your schedule and habits. If you’re going on a trip, for example, it’ll pop up your Passbook ticket when it’s time to go; if you always check Facebook in the morning, you’ll get an app shortcut. There are also promises of restaurant suggestions showing up at meal time.
There are other projects in the works that could help out Proactive, too. Maps is believed to be getting an augmented reality tool, Browse Around Me, that will help you learn more about points of interest — look at a coffee shop and you’d get its menu. There would also be a shrunk-down version of Siri’s voice recognition service that would let it dive into apps without risking the privacy issues that arise when you’re sending personal data to third-party software.
Whether or not Proactive and its companion features show up in iOS 9 isn’t clear. The tipsters understand that Apple is still focused on quality for the next mobile OS release, and it may cut back on features for the initial launch in favor of expanding them over time. It won’t be shocking if Tim Cook and company show up at next month’s Worldwide Developer Conference with only a few Proactive features, if they even discuss it at all. Given how rough iOS 8 was in its early days, we wouldn’t blame the iPhone maker for holding off.
If you’re fond making classic synth sounds with your iPad, Korg offers quite the library of apps that’ll do just that. As of this week, there’s a new addition: the M1 digital synthesizer and music workstation. The “complete reproduction” of the instrument is available for Apple slates as the iM1 app, and thanks to detailed circuit analysis by its engineers, Korg says the software carries the sound of the original and then some. These are sounds you’ve likely heard from Depeche Mode, The Cure and others. The included effects were bumped from two up to 18 and there’s a Kaoss pad for adjusting audio with swipe — both of which are new items absent on the original M1. If you’re familiar with synthesizers, the Kaoss feature mimics that touch-friendly surface for tweaking sounds found other other synths like the Moog Voyager XL.
The iM1 app also plays nice with MIDI controllers like Korg’s own compact keyboards. You’ll need to be serious about your mobile production habit, though, as the iOS software costs $20/£15. There are a couple of card expansion packs too, which bring tones of the M1EX and T-series synths to the party. Sound too good to pass up? iM1 is available at iTunes now.
Filed under: Misc
Via: Fact Magazine
It’s been a long time coming, but Firefox for iOS is nearly here… in a manner of speaking. Mozilla has revealed that it’s about to conduct a “limited” beta test of the web browser, and has already posted source code for early testers. The organization would like to have an open beta that gives everyone an early peek (à la Android), but that’s not really possible with Apple’s current testing mechanism. Still, a public release is likely close behind — if you’re not a fan of your iPhone’s existing web surfing options, you’ll have another major alternative before long.
Still holding out for a larger iPad? Well, you’re certainly not alone. Thanks to new details from 9to5Mac, it looks like Apple’s prepping for a reveal as well. The site has a solid track record when it comes to rumors, and it reports that both hardware and software tweaks are in the works for the 12.9-inch slate. Two models, code-named J98 and J99, are reportedly in the testing phase alongside tweaks to Apple’s mobile OS to outfit the extra screen real estate. As you might expect, the difference between the two is one is WiFi-only and the other carries both WiFi and cellular connectivity. Among the changes to iOS is a split-screen feature that could be announced for current iPad models as early as WWDC in a few weeks.
As 9to5Mac notes, a similar tool was tipped to arrive with iOS 8 only to be pulled before the release, so nothing’s guaranteed there. However, the site’s sources suggest that the split-screen mode would allow for more divisions than just side-by-side windows, depending on the app. What’s more, in order to make the larger tablet more productive, other iOS changes are said to arrive for Siri and Notification Center for better use of the extra space. Expanded multi-user support is said to be in the works too, but it won’t arrive with iOS 9 at WWDC. Instead, it’s rumored to make an appearance in the fall, when we could very well see Tim Cook & Co. finally reveal the so-called iPad Pro.
Missed out on a live game tournament stream when you were at home, but want to catch up when you’re on the road? As of now, you can. Twitch is pushing out updated Android and iOS apps that include video on demand, giving you highlights and past broadcasts when you’re stuck on the bus. Both releases are available today, although it’s important to note that you can’t simply update the Android version — a security fix requires that you install a brand new app, and the old one will stop working as of today.
The hottest-selling tablets aren’t likely to be iPads or Galaxy Tabs these days — if anything, they’re the cut-rate slabs you see in the back of the drug store. Strategy Analytics estimates that shipments of generic “white box” tablets (which typically run Android) overtook iPads in the first quarter of this year, claiming 28.4 percent of the market versus Apple’s 24.3. The analysts largely chalk this up to consistently tepid iPad sales, but they also suggest that small, budget-minded tablet makers are having a field day. That’s not totally surprising. Low-cost Android gear also dominates the smartphone market, and a lot of these tiny outfits operate in China, where price is more of a concern. You don’t need a $500 slate just to watch video in bed, after all.
That shift is partly borne out by what’s happening with other big-name competitors. Cost-conscious Chinese brands like Huawei and Lenovo are thriving, while higher-end rivals that don’t do so well in China (such as ASUS and Samsung) are struggling. If these relative outsiders are going to come back, they may need to either compete more on price or give buyers a reason to pony up. There are signs that this is happening (see Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A and rumors of a giant iPad), but you may not see the results of these efforts until later in the year.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Koji Sasahara]
Source: Strategy Analytics
If you’ve ever wanted to start a report on your iPhone and save it straight to Dropbox, you’re in luck. The cloud storage outfit is rolling out an iOS update in the next few weeks that allows you to create Microsoft Office documents and save them online, not just edit them. The upgrade will also let you comment on files from the iOS app. And if you just can’t wait to try something new, the latest version packs a redesigned home view that focuses on your recently opened files. There’s no mention yet of corresponding Android releases, but those are undoubtedly in the pipeline.
Source: App Store
Since it launched in February I’ve been a pretty big fan of the Saturday Night Live app, and the latest update should make it quite a bit better. Now there’s native iPad support (hooray!) in addition to it being available on Android devices. NBC’s also gone back and remastered some of the old sketches, added around 400 more (including some of the late Phil Hartman’s “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer” bits) and tossed AirPlay support in so you can watch the clips via an Apple TV. Curiously, Chromecast beaming is still missing in action, but at least now you can text the new Church Lady emoji to let a pal know they’re speeeecial.
Some say surrealism was the most influential art movement of the past century and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s had an effect on video game developers too. The games you’ll find below weren’t made by Salvador Dalí or M.C. Escher, but the influence those mind-bending artists had is unmistakable. And it’s not just limited to endless staircases or clocks melting off the side of a ledge (although those make appearances) in indie games, either. Dream-like visuals and landscapes have dotted the world of blockbuster games too — not even God of War 3 was immune when it released in 2010. Let’s take a mind-bending trip together in the gallery below, shall we?
The partnership between tech giants Apple and IBM, which began last year, isn’t just about working together on enterprise products. In Japan, the two companies just announced an initiative that will deliver up to 5 million iPads to Japanese senior citizens, at no cost. Apple, IBM and the Japan Post Group, a local corporation that’s also involved with the project, say the goal is to “improve the quality of life” for millions of elderly people in the Land of the Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with things like grocery shopping.
Not surprisingly, Apple’s also touting out-of-the-box iPad services such as FaceTime and Messages, which those who benefit from the program could use to stay in touch with loved ones. There are no details on the model of the iPads being provided, but chances are these senior citizens won’t care too much about such details.