Though iCloud Photo Library was available during the iOS 8 beta testing period, Apple appears to have demoted it to beta status and removed it from the iOS 8 golden master, the software that will be distributed to the public next week.
Apple has also stripped mentions of iCloud Photo Library from its iCloud preview page, where it used to be prominently featured at the top of the site. Apple’s preview page now focuses on iCloud Drive, the new iCloud storage plans, Family Sharing, and iCloud Photo Sharing, with iCloud Photo Library getting no mention at all.
It is unclear why Apple has demoted iCloud Photo Library back to beta status and removed it from the golden master, but it is possible that the company has decided to push it back in light of the negative press iCloud has received in recent weeks due to the celebrity photo leak.
Along with iCloud Photo Library, it appears that Apple has also decided to delay the SMS Relay feature of Continuity until October as well (via iLounge). According to Apple’s iOS 8 press release from Tuesday, SMS Continuity will be added to iOS 8 in October, while iCloud Photo Library will be available as a beta during that same month.
Touted as one of the major features of iOS 8/OS X Yosemite, SMS Continuity lets Macs and iOS like iPads receive SMS text messages and phone calls through the iPhone.
Though it will be missing a few features, Apple has plans to release iOS 8 to the public on Wednesday, September 17, two days ahead of the September 19 release date of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Earlier this week at its media event, Apple announced that it would be partnering with rock group U2 to offer its new “Songs of Innocence” album to 500 million iTunes customers for free. However, the deal upset some users who did not want the album added to their accounts or automatically downloaded in some instances. Now, Re/code reports that the album has been downloaded over 2 million times by users just three days after being made available.
The move was part of an estimated $100 million deal between U2, Apple, and Universal Music Group, as reported by Billboard Magazine this morning. U2 manager Guy Oseary said in an interview with the magazine that the deal between the band and Apple was a “long-term relationship” while shooting down criticism that the deal was disruptive to the of rest music industry.
The deal has also been very beneficial for U2’s back-catalog on iTunes, as 17 of their prior albums are currently on the iTunes Top 100. U2’s “Songs of Innocence” will be available to download for iTunes customers until the middle of October.
If you’re serious about your computer gaming, you’re going to want a desktop made for it. Many gamers choose to build their own, selecting the parts that best suit their needs. But to do that, you need the time and money, and it also generally helps to know what you’re doing. For those of you lacking in one of these essential qualities, there are plenty of companies that will sell you a great pre-configured gaming PC or even a custom-built one. But which to choose? While we don’t really review gaming desktops ourselves here at Engadget, we’ve gathered opinions from across the web on some recent gaming PCs to help you figure out which one will best suit your individual needs.
We’ve seen LG flaunting the self-healing coating on its rather peculiar G Flex, but wouldn’t it be nice to have this on other phones? Well, Innerexile’s Hydra plastic case for the iPhone 6 offers a similar feature. We say “similar,” because the hard yet resilient Hydra is apparently able to recover from a heavier bronze brush scratch test — 1kg instead of the G Flex’s 750g — as well as strong bending in the lab. I received a couple of samples to play with and while I don’t have the same testing equipment, I can still attest to the cases’ impressive build quality, glossy finish and flexural strength — as shown in my hands-on video after the break. But as with the G Flex, the Hydra’s patented self-healing coating is meant for light scratches only.
In my test, I used a steel wool to gently scratch one of the Hydra cases and let it rest for a while to see how well it recovers. Alas, my room was likely cooler than the lab-tested temperature (25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit), so I eventually took the liberty to speed things up by placing my warm hand on the affected area for about half a minute, and voila! The light scratches disappeared (and the same trick can be applied to the G Flex). Nothing can be done about the deeper scratches, but at least you’re less likely to get the annoying light scratches that would cloud up the transparent case.
The Hydra will be available from September 19th at select lifestyle stores (Turk and Taylor, Aggregate Supply, Stich and AC Gears) in three transparent colors (clear, black or pink) for $25, which isn’t too bad given its build quality and relatively unique properties. The iPhone 6 Plus version will follow in early October and it’ll likely cost a tad more.
On a page for iOS 8’s Continuity offering, Apple updated the section about SMS/MMS messaging to state that the feature won’t arrive when the new OS does on the 17th. Back at WWDC, the folks in Cupertino touted the new tool that would allow users to send texts and make calls from an iPad or Mac, but now it looks like the messaging bit it won’t go live until next month. Of course, OS X Yosemite is scheduled to arrive sometime this fall, and it’s quite possible you’ll be able to leverage Continuity’s texting by the time the desktop software starts to roll out. Apple doesn’t have the best track record for releasing cloud-based features though, as we saw with MobileMe’s issues in 2008, so we’ll let it take some time to work out the kinks.
Admittedly there are some things better said with a GIF than with words. But the folks behind PopKey seem to think that everything can be said better with a short looped animation. The app is a custom keyboard for iOS 8 that swaps letters and numbers for your favorite reaction GIFs. Did your friend say something stupid? Why tell him he’s an idiot with old fashioned words when Scar can do it so much better. Once it’s available you’ll be able to bring up PopKey simply by tapping the globe icon in the bottom of your iOS keyboard. Then you can choose from a host of hand-selected GIFs or even upload your own for a custom keyboard. You can browse your options either as images, or search by keywords like “clapping” or “facepalm.” You will have to long press the image you want, then long press in the iMessage window to paste your GIF of choice, but it’s definitely a lot quicker then firing up Safari, doing a Google image search, finding what you want, copying that, then opening your text message to reply. Sadly (or thankfully, depending on your perspective) there’s no word on when PopKey will launch just yet, but you can sign up to be notified at the website.
Got yourself a fancy new Android Wear smartwatch? Well we’ve got just the app for you. FaceStore is a simple collection of high quality watch faces for you to download and enjoy. The app includes featured watch faces, updates on when there are new faces in the catalog, The catalog has already greatly increased in… Read more »
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T-Mobile won’t be the only carrier with Wi-Fi calling, AT&T is committing to bringing it to their customers as well. It just won’t become a reality until sometime in 2015. Ralph De La Vega, president and CEO of AT&T’s new Mobile and Business Solutions group made mention of it today at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. Mr. De La Vega was certainly targeting T-Mobile with his comments on the matter.
“We’re very focused on making sure it’s a great experience for customers, but we see it as a complement, not a replacement,” he said. “We feel good about a great nationwide network with unlimited talk and text.”
AT&T hasn’t yet launched their Voice over LTE service and that is going to be a critical component to have in place prior to any thoughts of launching a Wi-Fi calling experience. They want to ensure that the cell handoff from their network to your Wi-Fi is seamless without dropping your call. Which I can respect. However, attempting to leverage the technology as a way for carriers with a smaller coverage footprint to boost coverage is a bit over the top.
“We don’t have a burning desire or need for coverage. Other operators with less coverage may pursue it more aggressively.”
I doubt this topic would have come up at all if T-Mobile hadn’t made their announcement along with Apple announcing support for Wi-Fi calling being built into iOS 8. It isn’t about other carriers with less coverage, it is about giving customers coverage where a carrier just can’t, like in your man cave in the basement. Everyone I know has that one room or spot in their home that drops calls or gives no signal, even in the deepest of coverage areas. Wi-Fi calling is all about helping customers stay connected. It seems that De La Vega is missing that aspect and down playing the need for the extra coverage.
What are your thoughts? Do you have that one lack of coverage spot at home or work that just kills you? Are you jumping to T-Mobile specifically for Wi-Fi calling, or have you just stuck it out with Google Voice or other voip apps?
The technology space is an ever-growing monster. A manufacturer with a single product, or niche market if you will, can do pretty well, but expanding a product line and diving into new areas can pay off big. Samsung is in the electronics business so them branching out with different things is a given. HTC on the other hand is a manufacturer of smartphones. They have been in the business since 1997. Phones and tablets are what they know best and what they went into business for. Mobile technology is quickly expanding past phones and tablets, especially when Google and Android are involved. There are always rumors of what a manufacturer is working on and HTC is no stranger to the rumor mill. It has been damn near confirmed that they will be producing the Nexus 9. A more recent on again, off again rumor pegs them for an Android Wear watch possibly. They were a partner mentioned when Google first unveiled Android Wear. Now there is a new one floating around that entertains the idea that HTC will soon offer a small waterproof camera.
HTC has an event scheduled in New York on October 8th. The tag line for the invite is “Double Exposure.” That term is often synonymous with photography. Conversations sprung up about a new phone with more selfie orientated abilities, like wide-angle lenses and such. Heck, they even asked for invitees to send in a selfie. While it is likely, Bloomberg is reporting that HTC is actually developing its first camera, or at the very least, a camera accessory for your phone/tablet. The suspected details place it with a 16MP sensor and connect to your device with Bluetooth and WiFi. It will connect and work directly with Android and iOS.
There is mention of the device being tube-shaped, waterproof, offer an ultra wide-angle lens and might offer up dedicated apps for both OS’s. The details beyond that are pretty scarce.
If HTC is indeed working on their very own GoPro of sorts, it could be a big revenue booster for the company. Especially with cross-platform support. What do you think? If HTC produces something unique, useful, beautifully designed and priced right, would you be interested?
The post Waterproof camera rumored to be in the works from HTC appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Buyer’s Guide: Deals on 2014 Retina MacBook Pro, Bolt Battery Charger, Dragon Dictate 4, and More [Mac Blog]
This week’s Buyer’s Guide has deals on the 2013/2014 Retina MacBook Pro, the 2013 MacBook Air, the Mac Pro, and several Apple accessories.
The deals on Macs aren’t as significant as they have been in past weeks, and with Apple’s back to school program over, prospective buyers may have to do some shopping around to get a good discount. Best Buy, however, is continuing to offer EDU customers $100 off all MacBooks and the iMac plus $50 off the iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina display.
Retina MacBook Pro
There are a few deals 2014 Retina MacBook Pro this week, including the 13-inch 2.6Ghz/8GB/256GB model, which available for $1,379 from Adorama and B&H Photo. The high-end 2.6Ghz/8GB/512GB 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is on sale for $1,699.99 from Best Buy, Amazon, Adorama, B&H, and MacMall, a savings of $100.
There are also some deals on remaining 2013 Retina MacBook Pros. The 2.6Ghz/8GB/512GB 13-inch model is available for $1,549 from Adorama and B&H Photo. The 2.0Ghz/8GB/256GB 15-inch model is available for $1,599 Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo. The 2.0Ghz/16GB/512GB 15-inch model is available for $2,199 from Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo.
Stock configurations of Apple’s Mac Pro desktop computer are available at slightly discounted prices from several retailers this week. The 6-core 3.5Ghz/16GB/256GB machine can be purchased for $3,739.99 from Best Buy, Adorama, and B&H Photo, while the 4-core 3.7Ghz/12GB/256GB machine for $2,839.99 from Best Buy, Adorama, and B&H Photo.
B&H and Adorama, as always, are a good choice for buyers who live outside of New York and New Jersey, as the sites only charge sales tax in those states.
B&H Photo is continuing to offer rock bottom prices on remaining inventory of the 2013 MacBook Air. The 1.3Ghz/4GB/128GB 11-inch MacBook Air is available for $779, while the 1.3Ghz/4GB/256GB 11-inch MacBook Air is available for $889 and the 1.3Ghz/4GB/256GB 13-inch MacBook Air is available for $999.
Fluxmob, which makes the small Bolt battery backup and wall charger accessories, is having a site-wide sale offering 20 percent off of products until 9/30 with the coupon code FALL20.
The Speck CandyShell case for the iPhone 5/5s is available from Groupon for $17.99, down from $34.95. Groupon is also offering the Mophie Juice Pack Helium Rechargeable 1,500 mAh battery case for the iPhone 5/5s for $49.99, a discount of $30.
The Apple Leather Smart Case for the iPad Air is available for $30 from DailySteals, a discount of $49. The LifeProof nüüd iPad Case for iPad 2/3/4 is on sale for $59 from Living Social. MegaMacs is offering Microsoft Office 2011 Home & Business Edition for Mac (product key, no discs) for $114, a savings of $60.
MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.