OS X Yosemite Public Beta 3 Released

OS X Yosemite Public Beta 3 has been released by Apple today along with the latest developer version for those in the Developer Program.  The update is available to everyone who is already in the beta program as an update through the App Store.

What is exactly addressed in OS X Yosemite Public Beta 3 is somewhat of a mystery as these things tend to be will Apple.  I can say in the testing that I’ve been doing with it so far this evening here in London, it feels much faster in Safari and Mail seems a bit more stable.  I haven’t noticed any new icons or other graphical changes.

OS X Yosemite is expected to be released to the public in October as a free upgrade to everyone.  It will bring things like Continuity between your iOS 8 compatible devices and your Mac, allowing you to do things like answer your iPhone calls through your Mac, work on files on your iPad and changes instantly appear on your Mac thanks to iCloud Drive and of course iCloud Drive.

iOS 8 Wallpapers to Download

With the release of iOS 8 coming on Wednesday, there will be a whole new set of wallpapers that Apple includes in the update.  If you don’t want to wait or have no plans to upgrade, we have all of the iOS 8 wallpapers available for you here on AlliOSNews for you to download.

All of the wallpapers, which can be found in the Wallpapers section of the site, are available for both iPhone and iPad so you don’t have to do any rescaling or sizing to get them to work on your devices.  I’ve also put all of the iOS 8 wallpapers on this post after the break so you can view them and download them from here.

To download the images, just right-click and Save Image As to save them to your Mac or PC.  If you are viewing a wallpaper from your iPhone or iPad, tap-and-hold until you are prompted to either Set as Wallpaper or Save to Camera Roll.

iOS 8 Install Guide

The release of iOS 8 is fast approaching this week.  On Wednesday the 17th of September it will be made available by Apple to install on your existing iPhone and iPad.  To help make the upgrade go smoothly, we’ve put together this iOS 8 Install Guide.  The guide is designed to give you tips and tricks from our years of experiencing in upgrading iOS versions to assure it goes as quickly and as pain-free as possible.

To remind everyone, iOS 8 will be available for the following existing iOS devices.  Remember that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will come already loaded with iOS 8.

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3rd Generation
  • iPad 4th Generation
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Mini
  • iPad Mini with Retina Display
  • iPod Touch 5th Generation

Before I start the iOS 8 Install Guide a word of patience.  Generally an iOS upgrade is made available on launch day at 10:00 PST.  That’s 13:00 EST and 18:00 BST.  When the release happens there will quite literally be millions of people trying to upgrade at the same time.  It could take you several tries and several hours to actually get the upgrade onto your device.  Be patient.  You’ve lived this long without it, a few more hours won’t hurt. :-)  For Tricia, she isn’t even going to try to attempt to install iOS 8 on her existing iPhone 5, iPad Mini and iPad 3rd Generation until Wednesday night even though she is in California.  For me here in London, I probably won’t be installing it until Thursday morning my time, around midnight Wednesday in California.  If you can wait, do it.  It will be a lot less frustrating.

The iPhone 6 Buying Challenge Game

Today is the day that you can start your iPhone 6 buying.  Well, that’s what we thought anyway, including our very own Tricia [clarifications from Tricia in red].  As we discussed in our How We Make AlliOSNews work, Tricia lives in California and in fact in Silicon Valley.  So for her, “Shiny Toy” day meant staying up until Midnight to get her pre-ordered iPhone 6 (not plus because of challenges with ladies pants pockets).  As you can imagine, I’ve heard about this for days in Messenger.  I’m reasonably confident the term “Shiny Toy!” or “Squeeee” came in every conversation over the past 72 hours. [For the record, I don't think I've ever "squeeeed."]

So dutifully, Tricia stayed up way past bedtime to get her Silver iPhone 6 ordered.  [To be fair, I didn't stay up. I fell asleep after making sure I had an alarm set.] And that’s kinda where it all went wrong.

Yahoo News Digest App Goes Universal

The Yahoo News Digest App has been updated this week and it is now a universal app for both iPhone and iPad.  The news curation app brings you 7 news stories in various categories twice a day to keep you up to date with events in the world.  It is the end product of Summly, the summary artificial intelligence developed by Australian teen Nick D’Aloisio.  D’Aloisio reportedly sold Summly to Yahoo for $30m in March of last year, making him one of the youngest self made millionaires.  The app, which until now has been for iPhone only, has now added a beautiful iPad version, bringing the multi-sourced news stories to your tablet in a touch friendly and easy to use format.

Yahoo News Digest (Universal App) – Free – Download Now

Expedia App Goes Universal

The popular Expedia Hotels & Flights app for iOS has been updated this week and it now comes in a universal build for both iPhone and a new, beautiful iPad version.  The Expedia app leverages the Expedia service you are likely familiar with and makes finding hotels and flights to destinations around the world quick and easy.

The new version has a completely revamped interface for both iPhone and iPad but it is the latter that is really eye popping.  Now you can simply tap and swipe your way to finding hotels and flights and you don’t even necessarily have to put in travel dates.

Expedia (Universal App) – Free – Download Now

AppleWatch – Apple’s Riskiest Product Since Newton

On Tuesday Apple launched AppleWatch, their first player into an increasingly crowded SmartWatch field.  The AppleWatch features the Digital Crown which, along with taps and swipes of the AppleWatch face, help you navigate the device.  Apple proclaims that the Digital Crown is the most revolutionary navigation tool since the Click Wheel while Tim Cook has stated that the AppleWatch is the Apple’s most personal device to date.

Despite the standing ovation that the AppleWatch received during the keynote on Tuesday, make no mistake.  This is a risky product for Apple.  It’s not a “bet the company” risky but it is risky.  One analyst this week said it was the riskiest product since Apple launched the Newton back in 1987 and I tend to agree.  The AppleWatch, like the Newton, faces a fundamental question from consumers:  Do I really need this?

New iCloud Drive Pricing Plans Go Live

With a week to go before iOS 8 is available to current iPhone and iPad users, Apple has launched the new iCloud Drive pricing plans today.  iCloud Drive is the latest iteration of iCloud, the cloud storage solution that is deeply integrated into iOS and OS X.  With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, the limitations of iCloud have largely gone away with the ability to store all of your photos and data regardless if it is an Apple formatted file (think Keynote, Numbers, Pages, etc) or not.  iCloud Drive is also available for Windows PCs running Windows 7 or later.

Just A Random Post on an Apple Centric Blog

It’s Sunday night here in the UK.  It’s a cool 21c (roughly 70F) this evening as I enjoy a very nice French Merlot with windows open and a cool breeze in my office.

As I do every Sunday evening, I’m surveying new apps & new news that came in from the United States over the weekend concerning all things in the world of Apple.  Monday’s are usually slow when it comes to news anyway because most of us who blog about Apple as a hobby (raises hand) or professionally generally take the weekend off – publicly anyway.  Undoutedly most of us have been working hard on putting the finishing touches on our iOS 8 reviews, iPhone 6 preliminary views posts and our thoughts on OS X Yosemite this particularly weekend. I know I have been doing just that.  Then there is the iWatch… or iWear or whatever it is going to be called.  Yeah, that’s one that has been fun to ponder these past few days too.

Which gets to the point of this post.  There is no point.  Seriously.  This is random ramblings of a guy with a blog because there is absolutely nothing to report on in the world of Appleville right now.  It all happens Tuesday. Sure I could update you on the latest app update or maybe post a review or maybe even a How To.  Truth is, I can’t be bothered.  Why?  Because you won’t read it.

Seriously.  If you have made it this far in this post I’m really impressed!

What We Expect From Apple on 9.9.2014

Editors Note:  This post will remain at the top of AlliOSNews through Tuesday, 9 September.  Newer news items will be below.  Clinton’s Comments are in Black while Tricia’s comments are in Red

Tuesday, 9 September 2014 could be one of the most important days in the history of Apple.  I appreciate that, as an opening line for a post, that may sound hyperbolic or drama-ish, but I stand by it.

SHINY TOYS! SHINY TOYS!

Apple is expected to announce a series of products, software and solutions that could set their course for the next several years.  It is also an opportunity to do what Apple does best:  Change a market that nobody expected.  They have done it in the past three times:  iPod (changed how we consume music), iPhone (changed how we use and expect a smartphone to work) and iPad (changed how we casually compute and created a new category).  Will they do it again with wearables?

There is a lot of what we expect from Apple in this event.  Some of it we know (or think we do) while some of it is still speculation.  And while we at AlliOSNews try to stay above the rumour mill fray, we do pay attention and read the tea leaves just like you and everyone else.  To that end, Clinton & Tricia have put together a list of things we expect to see next Tuesday.  As we have done in the past, we give what we think is a percentage of us seeing that particular product or service based.  Sometimes we are right, some times we are not so right.  But it’s fun to speculate!

To the point of Clinton’s click-bait intro above, there is good reason to expect something big. Apple is known for meticulously planning every aspect of their announcements; this includes location. Tuesday’s event will take place at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Apple’s hometown of Cupertino, California as opposed to the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. Announcements previously coming out of this more intimate venue include the original Mac (1984), Bondi Blue iMac (1998) and is the location of their annual shareholders meeting. To me this indicates a brand new category will debut.

iPhone 6 – Chance of Announcement:  100%

Make no mistake, this is an iPhone event.  And it is a huge iPhone event literally and figuratively.  Apple is expected, like last year, to announce two different iPhone 6 models.  There is expected to be the 4.7″ variety and the phablet 5.5″ version.  Both will be running iOS 8 of course and all indications are that both will support NFC for a new wallet purchasing system on the devices.  Both will be powered by the Apple A8 processor, have the M8 updated motion processor and the 5.5″ will have a sapphire front while the 4.7″ will have Gorilla Glass 3.  If the mockups we have seen are any indication, look for a thinner, rounded almost iPad Air-like look to the new iPhone.

Frankly Apple is behind a bit when it comes to screen size.  People are wanting larger displays than 4″ and I am most certainly amongst them.  Have been carrying around the Nokia Lumia 1320 for weeks, that 6″ phablet is an absolute joy to use and the screen size is beautiful.  When I go back to my iPhone 5s, the 4″ screen looks super tiny.  Because, realistically, it is in today’s market.

The real question is around delivery dates for these devices.  All indications are that the 4.7″ iPhone 6 is ready to launch and we will probably see that within 10 days of this event.  So I would expect you to be able to pre-order within a week and delivery within two.  The 5.5″ on the other hand could be a November or even December product.  Rumours point to difficulty with the sapphire displays and Apple is behind on production.  This could prove to be problematic for Apple as I personally think the 5.5″ will be in demand immediately.

I completely agree that we will welcome two new iPhones into the shiny toy collection and I’m excited about the potential for a larger screen. There are many times I’ll switch over to my iPad because navigating certain searches on my phone screen are just too much of a pain in the tushy. However, I struggle with the need for the larger phablet – isn’t that the point of the iPad? (I will readily admit to doubting the need for an iPad mini at launch, and now really want one.)

My biggest problem with the ever-increasing screen sizes is the ever-increasing device size that comes alongside those glorious viewable screens. As a woman, I am plagued by tiny pockets (if any at all). Currently my iPhone 5 will only fit in the back pocket of some of my jeans. As someone who needs my iDevice by my side at all times as a sort of technological security blanket, it can get dangerous when I have to juggle it as part of all the other TechMom gear I’m toting. Which brings me to my next point…

Sources say the phablet (tangent – can we all take a moment to agree that phablet is a stupid name?) will have the sapphire screen to decrease the potential for a shattered screen, while the iPhone 6 standard will continue to feature Gorilla Glass. One of Apple’s key differentiators in the market continues to be their beautiful hardware in addition to ease-of-use. I would love to see sapphire screens on all devices as well as water-resistant. This would allow users to shed the case (and resulting added bulk) and proudly tout their chosen iDevice in all its naked glory.