Apple has quietly disabled Dashboard by default in the seventh beta of OS X El Capitan, an unsurprising move given the ten-year-old widget feature on Mac has not been updated in over four years and looks increasingly poised for retirement. Dashboard was similarly disabled by default on OS X Yosemite.
Latest OS X El Capitan beta disables Dashboard by default. Not long now, old friend 😥 pic.twitter.com/Cp2ecE6Fa2
— Jeremy Burge ⌚️ (@jeremyburge) August 20, 2015
While a few websites claim that Apple has removed Dashboard from OS X El Capitan entirely, the feature can be re-enabled by opening System Preferences > Mission Control and choosing “As Space” from the Dashboard drop-down menu. Then, tap on the Dashboard key on your keyboard to bring up the window.
Dashboard was introduced on OS X Tiger in 2005 and acts as a secondary desktop for widgets such as a calculator, calendar, clock, weather, stocks, sticky notes, mini games, dictionary, flight tracker and more. Widgets can be added or removed from Dashboard by clicking on the plus or minus buttons in the bottom-left corner.
For many of us E3 2015 ended when Square Enix took the stage and announced Final Fantasy 7 was finally getting that HD remake we have been begging for many years. The same remake we were told time and again would never come. Nothing was going to beat this announcement! That still stands true for Final Fantasy 7 fans, but we did get another surprise from the RPG king – the original Final Fantasy 7 game was set to come to mobile.
Fast-forward a couple months and we find ourselves welcoming the most iconic Final Fantasy title to the mobile realms. The
only bad news is it is not out for Android yet. Final Fantasy 7 has only been released for iOS so far. Why is this news piece even here? Well, for the same reason we even told you about this during the announcement. While the Android release hasn’t been 100% confirmed, Square Enix has been exceptional at bringing all its main titles to Android. Especially the ones which will make good money… and Final Fantasy 7 definitely will.
By the way, we don’t only say that because the game will sell like hot pancakes. This title is also significantly expensive! Final Fantasy 7 is priced at a whopping $19.99 on iTunes, a cost that is higher than Square Enix’s already unreasonable $15-$17 price points. They know many of us will pay that cash, though. That’s where they get us!
If you don’t know Final Fantasy 7 by now? You really have some catching up to do. This game influenced a whole generation and boomed the Final Fantasy franchise success to the skies. So far up even the lifestream couldn’t stop it. It happens to be my personal favorite game of all times, and I know many of you are with me on that one. This is why I am worried about how you will feel about the next bit of news.
Square Enix, what did you just do?!
First and foremost, let me apologize about the words I typed last time I wrote about Final Fantasy 7. I told you this would be the same Final Fantasy 7 title we saw in 1997, ported and unadulterated; I was wrong. Square Enix changed one thing… one thing that may ruin your whole gaming experience.
The game comes with integrated cheating functionality. For starters, there will be an option to level up all your characters and give them max stats. But then why would you even want random battles? Don’t you worry, you can turn those off too!
To be honest, this shocked me more than when I saw Sephiroth’s Masamune pierce through you-know-who (actually… not really, but you get me). The battle system and leveling up is such an important part of Final Fantasy titles! Their level of difficulty and time consumption are what drives us to push through these challenges and spend months playing a single game. Why would you take that away from us?
I understand that the story line is also a huge part of Final Fantasy 7. Furthermore, many of us have beat the game plenty times, so skipping through that whole grinding process may be a viable option. I just feel like the experience will be ruined for all new players. But then again, is this release even aimed at first-timers? It just upsets me that it’s now so easy to ruin the experience.
But hey, tell us your own thoughts on this release! Do you agree with me on the whole cheat pandemonium? Hopefully an Android release is around the corner. Not seeing Final Fantasy 7 hit our devices would be something else to rant about.
Alright, now you can go download the game on your iPad or iPhone, if you want!
Apple today released the seventh beta of OS X 10.11 El Capitan to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the sixth El Capitan beta and two months after unveiling the new operating system at its 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple has also re-seeded the fifth public beta of OS X El Capitan to public beta testers.
The update is available through the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store and through the Apple Developer Center.
In recent weeks, Apple has been pushing rapid updates for OS X El Capitan, all of which have focused on under-the-hood performance improvements and bug fixes to optimize the operating system ahead of its public debut. Few design changes have been made in the most recent betas.
OS X El Capitan is designed to improve features introduced with OS X Yosemite, focusing on performance and user experience. A number of apps and processes on the Mac are much faster with El Capitan, and the introduction of Metal for Mac brings system-level graphics rendering that’s 40 percent more efficient.
As for user experience, El Capitan includes a new systemwide San Francisco font, a revamped Mission Control feature, a new Split View feature for using two full-screen apps at once, deeper functionality for Spotlight, and several new features for Safari, including Pinned Sites for housing frequently visited websites and a universal mute button that quiets all tabs.
OS X 10.11 El Capitan is available to both registered developers and public beta testers. Apple plans to release El Capitan to the public in the fall.
Best Buy is offering a “Black Friday in July” promotion this weekend, which will see the company offering significant discounts on many products. One of the major deals included in the promo is a price cut on iPads, dropping the price on the iPad Air 2 to the lowest we’ve seen since the tablet launched last October.
Best Buy is discounting its lineup of Wi-Fi only iPad Air 2 models, dropping the price on the 16GB model from $499 to $374.99. The 64GB model is priced at $474.99 instead of $599, and the 128GB model is available for $574.99, down from $699. Discounts are available on all colors of the Wi-Fi iPad Air 2.
Best Buy’s Black Friday discount is scheduled to begin on July 24 and last through July 25, but customers who sign up for a Best Buy account can get early access to the deals beginning today. Signing up for an account is a free process, but does require a phone number and an email address.
In addition to offering a discount on the iPad Air 2, Best Buy also has several other Apple-related deals worth checking out. The 2.2GHz 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 16GB of memory and a 256GB SSD is available for $1,749.99, a discount of $250.
128GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models from Sprint are available at a $100 discount with a two-year contract, dropping the price on the devices to $299.99 instead of $399.99. There’s also a deal for a free Jawbone UP2 Activity Tracker with the purchase of any smartphone from Sprint.
Unrelated to its Black Friday promo, Best Buy is also offering discounts on the 128GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini 3, dropping the price by $150 on both the Silver and Space Gray models. With the discount, the tablet is available for $449.99 instead of $599.99.
These deals, particularly the discount on the iPad Air 2, are likely to go quickly, so MacRumors readers hoping to get an iPad at a discount might want to purchase today. Deals are online only today, but will be available in store on Friday and Saturday.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy.
Your iPhone just became a better remote control for the internet of things. Google has released Chrome 44 for iOS, which lets you see Physical Web devices (think smart parking meters and vending machines) in iOS’ Today view — you don’t need to run specialized apps or open the browser just to see gadgets around you. It’s still a worthwhile upgrade even if you don’t live around compatible gadgets, since you can finally use Safari-style horizontal swipes to flip back and forth through web pages. Either way, you’ll definitely want to swing by the App Store if Chrome is your surfing software of choice.
Zivix has a new wireless MIDI device for Apple-centric musicians, but unlike the original WiFi Puc, this time it’s using Bluetooth 4.0. The Puc+ is the “first Bluetooth MIDI interface that universally supports any MIDI controller,” according to the company. It can handle multiple controllers at once, connect to old-school 5-pin or newer USB MIDI devices, and work with any audio workstation running on a Mac, iPad or iPhone — including GarageBand, ProTools and others. The company claims it has sub-15ms latency that’s on par with cabled solutions, and can control devices up to 40 feet away.
If you’re thinking, “wait a minute, doesn’t Zivix already have a wireless MIDI controller?” Yes, but the Bluetooth model apparently offers a few advantages over the original WiFi Puc. Since it’s designed specifically for iOS 8.2 and OS X, it supports Apple’s new Bluetooth MIDI connectivity, letting you hook up multiple controllers (you’ll need a Puc+ for each one, mind you). It works with more setups, thanks to new bi-directional USB and MIDI in/out support. It also has “exceptionally low latency,” and Zivix said testers felt “it leaves our original Puc standing still in terms of performance.”
If you want one, you’ll need to have at least an iPad Mini, iPad 3 or newer, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, or an iPhone 5, all running iOS 8.2 and up. Most Mac devices will work, provided they can run OS X 10.10 Yosemite. If that’s all good, you can order one from Indiegogo starting at $89, or get up to eight for $729. (The devices will cost $130 retail once the crowdfunding campaign is over.) So far, the company is a quarter of the way to its $20,000 goal with $5,000 pledged. If you’re justifiably worried about buying on Indiegogo, bear in mind that the company’s original Puc campaign was a success, and the product generally received good reviews.
Apple’s still pretty new to this whole public beta thing, but that didn’t stop it from dropping two consumer previews today. We’ve already taken a closer look at Apple’s latest desktop OS, so it’s high time we dug a little deeper into what it’s like using an early version of iOS 9. Spoiler alert: It’s pretty damned solid.
Before we go any further, though, keep this in mind: As stable as the iOS 9 beta seems right now, it’s still not ideal for use as a daily driver. If you’re itching to taste the future, you might want to use a spare, sacrificial iDevice just in case. I’m testing this build on an iPad Air 2, which has a few tweaks that won’t show up on the iPhone, so I’ll flag those when the time is right. Ready? Let’s go.
If you’ve used an iOS device in the past two years, the post-install setup process doesn’t won’t present many curveballs. The biggest one ties into Apple’s push for greater mobile security this year: If you prefer to lock down your iDevice, your passcode will need to be six digits instead of four. Restoring your settings from an existing iOS backup lets you keep your four digit code by default, but it doesn’t look like you’ll get the option to create another short code if you ever decide to change things up. Security side note: iOS 9 also brings support for two-factor authentication, just to make sure no one’s futzing with your gear without permission.
Once that’s all done, you’re dropped right into the familiar iOS homescreen… except it might not look as familiar as it used to. True to its word, Apple has swapped the lithe Helvetica Neue as the system font with the chunkier San Francisco typeface that debuted on the Apple Watch. If you’re a word nerd like me you might find the change a little jarring at first, but it quickly becomes obvious that this was the right move; text looks fresher and more spacious than it used to.
Right, now that we’re fully set up, let’s do some more digging.
Getting your productivity on
Go ahead, double tap that home button. It’ll bring up the revamped app switcher, which layers cards on top of each other so you can see more of them from the get-go. It’s a minor change, for sure, but it does mean you can kill, jump into or escape an app just a little faster than you could before. Of course, now we can do more than just jump between running apps.
If you’ve got an iPad Air, Air 2, Mini 2 or Mini 3, you can swipe over from the right edge of the screen to bring up the Slide Over menu. You’ll be treated to a vertical list of Apple-only apps that you can run within that window. You probably won’t use these for that long, though: The focus shifts from the main app to the one running in miniature, and they’re best suited for handling quick tasks. Want to see an iMessage thread before you respond? Or get a quick dose of news while you’re pecking out an email? Slide Over’s going to be your buddy.
Assuming you’ve got the right hardware, you can pull those apps over to run split-screen with the app you were originally using. Well, sometimes, anyway; you can’t split-screen an app while you’re in Apple Music, for example. It takes a little time to get used to the gesture, but it’s fast, fluid and you’re able to fiddle with both apps simultaneously. (A bummer of a reminder: Those split-screen views only work properly on the iPad Air 2.) The only time that really changes is when you need to type something, as the keyboard spans the length of the screen. Speaking of the keyboard, the version we’ve got on the iPad is much smarter than it used to be. There are finally some discrete cut, copy and paste buttons so we don’t have to touch-and-hold-and-wait like we used to, and swiping two fingers together across that sea of keys lets you precisely place the cursor. Hallelujah.
A smarter iOS
Apple was awfully fond of the word “intelligence” when it first showed off iOS 9 and you’ll start getting sense of how much contextual awareness is at play when you swipe to the left from the home screen. That will bring up a dedicated search screen that offers up suggestions for who to talk to and apps you might need at this very moment. A handful of news stories (from the new News app, more on that later) sits below that, as do buttons that’ll display nearby restaurants, movie theaters and stores. It’ll probably take some time for these disparate mechanisms to really crack my daily routine, but it seems clear Apple wants you spending a lot of time here.
Siri’s gotten a bit more capable too, since she (or he depending on your locale) can handle more complex questions and statements. We got a peek at these smarts with iOS 8.4, where Siri correctly played the top songs of 1988 for me, but she now does a great job of ferreting out my photos from Hong Kong — or Thailand, or Pittsburgh or wherever — when I ask. Asking for reminders when I’m halfway through a New York Times article or sifting through messages is super helpful, too, since Siri can figure out what I’m looking at and file away for when I have more time.
Remember the days when Apple Maps used to be a laughingstock? We’ve come a long way, and with iOS 9 it’s finally getting one crucial piece of the puzzle for city-dwellers: transit directions. It used to be that you could only get driving and walking routes (along with the healthy warning for the latter) but so far Maps is just peachy when it came to planning out routes criss-crossing Manhattan. This bit strikes pretty close to home for me: as a suburban New Jerseyite, I have a pretty terrible grasp of New York City’s subways and buses, so dead-simple transit instructions mean a lot to me. It should be noted that Google Maps is wonderful at this, but Apple Maps is finally starting to close the gap.
New and familiar faces
The biggest of the new preloaded apps is basically straight out of the oven; News first went live in the third iOS 9 developer beta which dropped all of 24 hours ago. Considering the work that goes into building a news-reading platform from nothing, it’s not a surprise we’re only seeing it now, or that it’s not all that pretty yet. Actually, let me rephrase: Some of the stories look great, as a handful of news providers have been working with Apple on a handsome design format. The ones that don’t however, are often just a headline and some body text (at least, that’s how Engadget’s stories look). Still, you can tell there’s something important brewing here: It offers some solid-looking stories right out of the gate, and there’s a plenty of depth when it comes to choosing your go-to news sources. It might just seem like a Flipboard clone for now, but I suspect the finished product will be worth keeping an eye on.
Meanwhile, the formerly no-frills Notes app has finally gotten some attention. It still works exactly the same if you want it to, but you can now add checklists and photos if you’re particularly fastidious. Hell, you can doodle diagrams right in your notes too; a three-finger swipe to the left undoes the latest stroke, while a swipe in the other direction brings them back. Sure, you just hit the undo/redo buttons at the top of the screen, but where’s the fun in that? Alas, there are no brush size controls here what we’ve got will do just fine for some off-the-cuff flowcharts.
Oh, remember that Podcasts app that plenty of people hated? It got a nice, flat, spartan sort of facelift, though it doesn’t seem like enough of a change to lure away me away from the epic PocketCasts. Speaking of audio, the public beta also comes with Apple Music (which we’ve already dissected pretty thoroughly). The biggest difference? All that extra screen space on the iPad means Apple could squeeze in a separate area for your playlists so you’re not forever swiping right from all your tracks.
And all the other bits:
There’s a lot more to iOS 9 than just the flagship features, so here’s a quick run through what I’m most fond of:
- iPhones get a low-power mode that’ll throttle performance when you need more juice. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to exist on the iPad.
- The default folders in the Photos app now include one strictly for selfies!
- If you jump into one app from another, the signal indicator in the top left corner of the screen becomes a shortcut to where you came from.
- You can search for items within the Settings app, in case you can’t suss out what you’re looking for normally
In the end…
You don’t need me to remind you that iOS 9 isn’t ready for the masses, but here’s the thing: It feels pretty damned close. Even the mildly brave could go on an installing spree and be spared any game-breaking flakiness. Unlike the scattershot, hodge-podge feeling I got from Apple Music, this far-from-finished version of iOS 9 already feels focused and elegant. Does it add features we’ve never seen before? Not really, but it goes a long way in making iOS as a platform feel more complete, and for that, Apple deserves some kudos.
Eager to watch shows like Penny Dreadful or Ray Donovan without either subscribing to cable or buying the shows outright? You can, if you live in the US. Showtime has launched its promised stand-alone streaming service on Apple devices and Roku players for $11 per month, and you can also access it through either Hulu or PlayStation Vue. Sign up and you’ll have both on-demand access as well as live access to both East and West coast feeds, preventing your New York friends from spoiling the plot when you live in California. There’s no mention of when the dedicated Android, console and smart TV apps are coming. Still, you now have one more way to watch a premium TV channel after you’ve cut the cord.
Source: Showtime Press Express
Apple’s recently changed the terms of its AppleCare+ extended warranty program. Now, no matter what iOS or OSX device you own (yes, even the Watch), Apple will replace the battery as soon as it hits 80 percent health. That’s up 30 points from the previous 50 percent threshold for iOS devices. What’s more, Mac batteries used to only be covered for manufacturing defects, not normal performance degradation. So basically anything with an Apple logo will get a new battery once the old one loses 20 percent of its capacity. The policy kicks in immediately for devices purchased after April 10th of this year.
[Image Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive]
After months of waiting, Apple Music is finally upon us. The company is now ready to take the wraps off its new streaming service, which will deliver millions of tracks on demand, host a free 24-hour radio station with slots from some of the world’s biggest artists, and include a bevvy of social features. It’ll go live in over 100 countries today (June 30th), but as is often the case with new Apple services, there’s still some uncertainty around what you get and how much it’ll set you back. Fear not, for we’ve pieced together everything you need to know about Apple Music in the UK. Read on to find out.
What do I need and what time will it launch?
Thanks to Apple Music senior director Ian Rogers, we have a clear idea of when you can get streaming. The company will release the new iOS 8.4 update at 4pm UK time, which brings the Apple Music app with it. Once that necessary update has installed, you’ll be able to sign up for the three-month free trial and get to grips with all of the app’s features. As for Beats 1, Apple’s first foray into live radio: that will go on air one hour later.
Apple will also make its first ever Android app for Music. That won’t launch until the autumn, but you’ll be able to access the service on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch (via a paired phone) and on your Mac or PC via iTunes from day one.
How much will it cost?
When Apple unveiled Music, it only provided pricing for US customers. However, in the lead up to the launch, the company revealed the cost for Brits within iOS 9 beta updates. When you initially sign up, you’ll take advantage of a 90-day free trial, but after that you’ll have to pay £10 per month to continue streaming.
If you use Apple’s Family Sharing scheme for song, e-book and app purchases, there’s also a new option for Music that costs £15 each month and allows up to six family members to use individual Apple Music accounts. If you’ve had issues with Family Sharing in the past, this might not be the best option, but it definitely offers good value for money.
What will I get?
Apple already offers around 30 million tracks on iTunes and it’s very likely that the majority of them will be available to stream on day one. We don’t yet know what the bitrate will be, but reports suggest that Apple Music will mirror iTunes Match, which offers tracks at 256Kbps AAC quality.
While you’re free to stream your favourite artists, Apple Music will also offer curated playlists from “the most talented music experts around the world.” These will include mixtapes from Apple’s own curators, but there’ll also be playlists created by respected music publications like Rolling Stone, Q Magazine and Pitchfork. Apple says the more you listen to these playlists, the more relevant they’ll become. You’ll be able to find them in the “For You” section of the app, which will also suggest albums and new releases you might enjoy. If you want to create your own compilations, Apple will let you pull together (and share) playlists featuring tracks from the steaming service, and those you’ve purchased from iTunes or saved in Match.
If you’re one of those people who can never decide what to listen to and prefer the good old-fashioned radio experience, then Apple has you covered. With Beats 1, the company is launching a free, 24/7 global radio network with Zane Lowe fronting the show in Los Angeles, Ebro Darden in New York and Julie Adenuga in London. Lowe’s first slate of programming will feature an interview with Eminem and there’ll also be appearances from Dr. Dre and model-cum-actress Cara Delevigne. Apple has also said it will offer a daily schedule, so you’ll know who will be featured and when.
With Apple Music’s Connect feature, the company hopes it can do a better job at social than it did with Ping. Connect has a tab of its own inside the Apple Music app, and will allow verified artists to, you know, connect with fans. Pharrell, for example, could fill his Connect feed with tracks, photos and video. You can then heart posts, add a comment or share the updates to Facebook or Twitter, giving musicians and Apple Music a chance to enjoy more social exposure.
Apple will likely share more details when Apple Music launches — we’ll make sure to notify you as soon as any new information becomes available.
Source: Apple Music