June 2016

iOS & Apple news

Apple's WWDC is next week. The Keynote is at 10 am, Monday, June 13, and it will be streamed live by Apple.

Mark your calendar and bookmark This Apple Page for Live-streaming.


What is expected to be announced at WWDC? As always rumors abound and Apple does not pre-announce anything. However, the reasonable expectations include software-related announcements (and not any hardware news). Recall that in past years, Apple has given us previews of key features from the next majors OS releases: for iOS and for Mac OS X.

Additional rumors/expectations: Apple Music will be redesigned, more uses for Siri, including possibly an SDK for Siri to be used by 3rd party developers.

iOS 10 previews are expected. It is also reasonable to anticipate increased security an privacy features, increased use of iCloud, as well as functions nobody guessed that will become obvious and necessary as soon as Apple demonstrates them.

What else can be expected? Tons of websites using clickbait headlines and long wish-lists claiming to be actual news. After the Keynote, we also expect that Apple's stock will temporarily drop (and more headlines will claim that Apple missed the mark). Later, the stock will rise again and sales will be brisk with the new releases. This is not our first rodeo.

Former MS Windows President uses an iPad full time, reports the Loop.

Survey by CreativeStrategies finds that 98% have used Siri but only 3% do so in public, due to embarrassment.

Apple has released iOS 9.3.2 for iPad Pro. This is a fix to the previous release that caused problems in some rare cases of the iPad Pro only.

Nearly 1 in 4 users abandon an app after one use, shows a survey by Localytics. Retention is around 38%.


Apple has rehired prominent security pro as encryption fight continues, reports Reuters.

Apple's `spaceship' new campus construction continues: look at their tree-planting plans, they are creating a forest.

The iPad Pro 9.7'' review, by AnandTech: very thorough, as always. Concludes with: `In the end, the 9.7 '' iPad Pro is clearly the best standard-sized tablet on the market'.

Apple patent: when accidentally dropped, iPhones can re-orient themselves in mid-air to cushion the fall. Sort of like falling cats, remarks SiliconBeat.

Apple VoiceOver accessibility feature received award from American Foundation for the Blind.

William Shatner named his favorite gadgets in an interview by the WSJ: among other notable quotes, he says: `But if I had to pick the best part of the modern age, it would be an iPhone.'

iOS keyboards

MyScript Stylus is a keyboard that lets you write using your own (print) handwriting and understands your text. For those missing their old, old Palm days, this is even better.

Image Search keyboard. It lets you search Google Images right in your keyboard. Just enter search terms and swipe left to load more image results.

iOS apps

GoodNotes is a must-have app for anyone who needs to take extensive notes or annotate PDFs. Olga recommends it highly after relying on it for a month at work and for personal use. There are many apps of this kind but GoodNotes is the best. A good overview is available via the online User Guide.

Roger told us about DashCam app. He uses it with an older iPhone that he has dedicated and set on his car's dashboard. It continually takes photos and video as you drive but over-writes the older photos, assuming that in almost all cases, you had an uneventful drive. In the event you need to keep a photo or a video, you can tap and save it. This is a better alternative than scrambling to find your iPhone as you try to document something in a hurry. DashCam is a free app that helps fight unjust tickets, insurance fraud, and provide data in case of an accident.

If you need to create or share lists for grocery shopping or lists of any kind, consider AnyList. Olga has been using it for a couple of weeks after many years of relying on GroceryGadgets which has gone downhill. AnyList is a very nice app with very responsive developers.

Slow Shutter is a camera app that lets you slow down your iPhone's or iPad's shutter in order to do long exposures to get trail lights of cars at night, or capture the blur from misty waterfalls, and so on.

Paper released v 3.6 today with new features and improvements. The best app on iOS just got a little better :-)

You can now post to Instagram directly from Photos and other photos iOS apps.

Traveling this summer? CoPilot is a map and navigation app that works offline. European travelers has been using it extensively.

Spotlight on iOS VoiceMemos: how to use it on your iPhone and iPad, and how to share.

Looking for another game? Consider Symmetrica. It's different: a minimalistic arcade game that is relaxing, claims AppAdvice. To pass each level, you need to shoot the moving blue projectiles into the stationary green circles by touching the screen. The game ramps up the difficulty level as you progress.

Consider these alarm apps, reviewed nicely by AppAdvice. They are worthy alternates to the native function in iOS.

tips & tricks

Bookmark it: Apple has updated their support website: support.apple.com, try it out for help and references.

Calendar for iOS can alert you when it's time to leave for your next event.

7 password experts on How to Lock Down your Online Security.

Did you start a purchase at the iTunes Store and have it unexpectedly stop? Here is what to do next, to reset or resume.

If you discover that iTunes is no longer showing a warning message for buying an item you already bought, you can reset your warnings. How to reset your iTunes Store alert messages.

gadgets & accessories

The new iPad Pro case by BookBook integrates a kickstand and Apple Pencil holder, reports 9to5Mac.

Canary has updated their service to provide notifications for `air quality' and for temperature. This applies to both the iPhone app and also the optional Apple Watch app. A walk-through of Canary security cam, by 9to5Mac.

Bose has released a wireless QuietComfort headphone model, reports 9to5Mac. This appears to be consistent with the rumored removal of the 3.5 mm headphone jack in iPhone 7.

Do you use your iPhone for a lot of photographing? Then consider this IndieGoGo Pictar: it's a camera grip with controls.


[ RUMOR ] Apple Pay rumored to launch in Switzerland next week, coinciding with WWDC Keynote and to expand rapidly afterwards.

Apple Pay continues to expend its reach: is now supported by 30 new banks and credit unions.

Food delivery apps Grubhub and Seamless now accept Apple Pay for faster checkout, reports 9to5Mac.

Funny new ad for apple Pay by Australian supermarket ANZ, is even better than Apple's reports CultofMac.com.


Coach to start selling Apple Watch bands this week (June 6).

Apple Watch has many accessibility features for those with visual impairments or hearing impairments.

The Real Reason Apple Made the Apple Watch, writes Time Magazine: Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs felt the healthcare system needed a complete technological overhaul.

Reserve Strap for the watch suspends all shipments due to Apple Watch accessory port policy change. `WatchOS 2.0.1 has blocked off third-party band manufacturers from taking advantage of the accessory port to fuel the abilities of `smartbands'.'

privacy & security

Facebook will now display ads to web users who are not members of its social network, the company announced in a bid to significantly expand its online ad network, reports The Verge. Facebook wants to help sell every ad on the web, reports the WSJ. `Our buttons and plugins send over basic information about users' browsing sessions. For non-Facebook members, previously we didn't use it. Now we'll use it to better understand how to target those people,' said a FB representative.

Android malware steals one-time passcodes, reports CSO.

Flaws in Samsung's smart home let hackers unlock doors and set off alarms, reports Wired.

Apple's White Paper on Security is a very useful reference that describes how iOS 9 handles security and privacy. They describe how the have implemented encryption end-to-end on iMessage and much more.

A Conversation on Privacy: a panel discussion held in Tucson, at the University of Arizona, about a month ago. Well worth watching. The panel features MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, journalist Glenn Greenwald and former NSA subcontractor Edward Snowden presented by the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Chomsky and Greenwald appeared in person while Snowden videoconferenced from Russia. Nuala O’Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, was the moderator for the discussion. Thanks to Petra for sharing the link.