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Why Having Native Apps on the Apple Watch is a Big Deal

Posted by Rob Rich on June 9th, 2015

Yesterday’s WWDC was full of all sorts of interesting announcements for all sorts of Apple-related operating systems. A lot of really impressive stuff is in the works, but the most significant change for the Apple Watch has got to be allowing for native apps (i.e. apps that are installed directly on the watch rather than piggybacking over from the iPhone).

Watch OS 2 is Going to Add More Customization Options, Native Apps, and Lots More Cool Stuff

Posted by Rob Rich on June 8th, 2015

Granted it's still in its relative infancy, but the Apple Watch has been a bit lacking when it comes to third-party apps thanks to WatchKit not really allowing developers to do much other than create a window to a larger iPhone app. Now it looks like Watch OS 2 is going to change that.

Slide Over and Split View for iOS 9 Might Be My New Favorite Thing

Posted by Rob Rich on June 8th, 2015

There have been quite a lot of significant announcements during today's WWDC, but I think my personal favorite has got to be Slide Over for iOS 9.

iOS 9's New Transit Feature for Maps Looks Pretty Neat

Posted by Rob Rich on June 8th, 2015

The Maps app has been going through some growing pains, but it has been getting better. Its upcoming iOS 9 iteration looks to be even better with the addition of a new Transit view.

Goodbye Passbook, Hello Wallet

Posted by Rob Rich on June 8th, 2015

Today's WWDC keynote has been full of all sorts of Apple announcements, including a fair few for Apple Pay and Passbook.

WWDC 2014 - Epic's Zen Garden, Made in Unreal Engine 4, Unveiled

Posted by Ellis Spice on June 3rd, 2014

Yesterday at Apple's WWDC 2014 keynote, Epic Games showed off Zen Garden, a demo that was created using Metal and Unreal Engine 4. The scene was built in order to demonstrate dynamic scenes and huge vistas using both technologies, and can be seen in the keynote if you skip to around the 99 minute mark.

Zen Garden will be available on the App Store after iOS8's public release this Fall, with further details set to be announced in a live stream on Twitch this Thursday. Metal will be introduced into Unreal Engine 4 "at an appropriate time" after beta NDAs for it have been lifted.

WWDC 2014 - App Store Changes Unveiled

Posted by Ellis Spice on June 2nd, 2014

Apple has announced some interesting updates to the App Store over at the WWDC keynote today, which both developers and customers alike will enjoy the sound of.

App bundles are set to be introduced in iOS8, allowing users to buy multiple apps at the same time at a discounted price. Preview videos are also set to be added for apps alongside the already-familiar screenshots. Finally, the beta-testing service Test Flight is set to become official, making it easier for devs to invite users to break test their upcoming apps.

These changes to the App Store will arrive in iOS8, which is available in beta form now.

WWDC 2014 - iOS 8 Release Date Revealed (Sorta)

Posted by Rob Thomas on June 2nd, 2014

Just before the WWDC 2014 conference wrapped up with Tim Cook giving a shout-out to all of his homies in the Apple community (not to be confused with Craig Federighi's on-stage chat with his homie Dr. Dre), we received yet another ambiguous release date.

Those lucky enough to be in attendance at WWDC will have access to the iOS 8 beta (download here) starting today. The rest of us lowly proles down in the salt mines are going to have to wait until this Fall to get our hands on all of the new features.

Thankfully, it doesn't look like Apple is going to make the new experience too heavy as they showed that iOS 8 will run on a variety of hardware, ranging from iPhone 4s all the way up to the current models. Check the screenshot below for a full list.

WWDC 2014 - Apple Unveils New 3D API for iOS 8 Named Metal

Posted by Tre Lawrence on June 2nd, 2014

Apple has just announced an upcoming new developer API named Metal.

Metal serves as a firmware layer that allows for developers to have better access to hardware components. It mostly replaces OpenGL. According to Apple, metal allows for 10 times faster draw call rate, can display 1.3 million triangles on screen at once, and add effects like depth-of-field.

WWDC 2014 - Touch ID for iPhone 5s will Support Third Party Developers in iOS 8

Posted by Rob Rich on June 2nd, 2014

During Apple's WWDC keynote today, it was announced that Touch ID (that fingerprint sensor) will allow for third party developer support. Which basically means that we can expect a lot more apps and maybe even games that make use of the extra sensor.

It's an interesting prospect when you think about it. If nothing else, those weird fingerprint scanning moments in games might actually scan fingerprints!

WWDC 2014 - Siri Gets Some Updates Too

Posted by Rob Thomas on June 2nd, 2014

I have to admit, when Siri was first announced for iOS, I was intrigued. While she's not an AI by any stretch, it's difficult not to grow a little attached to her. I find myself even keying the mic again to say "thank you" after I have her set my alarm for me.

Well, now it looks like everyone's favorite personal assistant is getting a little better, as WWDC just announced a few new features for Siri. iOS 8 will allow Siri to be triggered hands-free using the command phrase "Hey Siri." She can also recognize songs via integration from Shazam and even purchase said content directly from iTunes, making it easier than ever to own that new song you just fell in love with. Finally, she can also handle dictation in 22 new languages.

WWDC 2014 - QuickType Adds Auto-Suggestions

Posted by Ellis Spice on June 2nd, 2014

At WWDC, Apple has announced QuickType for iOS8: a new feature that'll provide content sensitive next word suggestions to users. For example, if a user is replying to a message about going out for a movie or dinner, 'movie' and 'dinner' could be suggested as words to use. QuickType will also learn how you type and will provide suggestions based on that, meaning that words like 'epic' and 'awesome' are more likely to be suggested if you commonly use those words. International users will also be happy to learn that QuickType will work in multiple different languages, not just English.

QuickType will make its début in iOS8 when it releases.

WWDC 2014 - Apple Introduces HealthKit Service for iPhone and iPad

Posted by Tre Lawrence on June 2nd, 2014

Apple just announced the upcoming release of is health-monitoring HealthKit service for iPhone and iPad devices.

HealthKit will come with iOS 8, and will be able to import relevant data from compatible apps to create data that can be shared with health professionals and used with third party monitoring devices. Users will be able to control which apps get access to specific pieces of information.

Apple also notes that it is working with Nike and Mayo Clinic on HealthKit. Mayo Clinic Chief Dr John Noseworthy says, "We believe Apple's HealthKit will revolutionize how the health industry interacts with people. We are proud to be at the forefront of this innovative technology with the Mayo Clinic app."

WWDC 2014 - iOS 8 Messages Will Include In-Line Video and Voice Messaging

Posted by Rob Thomas on June 2nd, 2014

More new iOS 8 features are rolling out of the WWDC conference today in the Bay Area. Messages, touted by the Apple execs on stage as being THE most used iOS app of all time, is getting some cool new changes.

Users will be able to record voice messages by holding down on the mic icon, swiping up, recording their message, then swiping back down when finished. These audio clips will get dropped right into the ongoing conversation. Video clips can be recorded and shared in similar fashion, turning boring old text messaging into a richer audiovisual experience.

To save on storage space on the device, these messages will typically self-destruct after about 2 minutes, sort of like a supercharged Snapchat. However, this is optional and users can change the timer or turn it off altogether.

WWDC 2014 - iOS 8 Includes More Interactive Notifications, Frequent Contacts

Posted by Rob Thomas on June 2nd, 2014

At the 2014 WWDC conference, Apple's Senior VP of Software Development, Craig Federighi, introduced a couple of new features to the upcoming iOS 8: interactive notifications and frequent contacts.

Now users will be able to deal with incoming notifications directly from the lock screen without having to actually drop into the phone itself. Like a Facebook post or a response to a text.

Also announced was another new iOS tweak involving the double-tap of the Home button. Ordinarily, this brings up a swipe-able list of apps recently opened or used. Now, at the top of the list of apps, will be a bar showing a list of the contacts you most frequently interact with. Tapping on them will open a submenu allowing you to access standard contact interactions like making a voice or Face Time call, or sending a text.