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iOS 8 review: A more powerful iPhone experience arrives

iOS 8 review

iOS 8 is the follow-up to last years radical redesign of Apple’s mobile operating system. After the visual overhaul, the company went to work on adding a bunch of features that would make its devices more open with features like extensions and third-party keyboards, yet more secure with improved permissions and more widespread Touch ID integration. With iOS 8, Apple looks to refine the experience that was introduced last year, while allowing features for the power users of the world to shine.

It’s been shown that Apple follows a two-step release process with its iOS device hardware and software. For example, one year the company will release a new design for the iPhone, and the following year it’ll keep that design and refine the device, releasing it as an “S” class upgrade. iOS seems to follow a similar pattern, especially this year, which follows last year’s big redesign. With iOS 8, Apple has introduced a layer of polish on top of its mobile operating system, bringing with it a bevy of new features. The question remains, do all the changes come together in a meaningful way? Join us for our full iOS 8 review as we explore the answer.

Click to continue reading iOS 8 review: A more powerful iPhone experience arrives


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Microsoft will reveal Windows 9 on September 30th

Windows 9 invite

Microsoft has started sending out invitation to select press to its Windows 9 reveal event that will take place in San Francisco, California on September 30th. Microsoft execs Joe Belfiore and Terry Myerson will both be on hand to talk about “what’s next for Windows and the enterprise.” At the end of the event, we expect the company to release a Windows 9 Technical Preview that will allow developers and enterprise users to take the new software for a test drive to get apps updated and deployment scenarios tested. New features for Windows 9 include Cortana integration, virtual desktops, a new Start menu, Notification Center, and a refreshed UI that will see flatter icons (similar to Apple’s OS X Yosemite.)


Apple releases iOS 8 Golden Master to developers prior to September 17 public release

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Software

iOS 8 golden master 12a365

After all of the We Wish We Could Say More announcements from Apple today that saw the unveiling of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch, and Apple Pay, the company released the Golden Master seed of iOS 8 to developers. Build 12A365 should be the same version that is pushed to the world when iOS 8 is released on September 17th via an over-the-air update. Registered iOS developers can grab the download in the iOS Developer Center now.


iOS 8 will be released on September 17

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iOS 8 compatibility

During today's We Wish We Could Say More event, Apple announced that iOS 8 would be released to consumers as a free update on September 17th. If you're curious if your device supports the next Apple mobile operating system, check out the image above which details all of the iOS device it will run on. iOS 8 brings with it a host of new features, including:

  • Photos: The new Photos app will allow you to access your entire photo collection with the iCloud Photo Library. New editing tools also make it easy to make your shots look even better, with all edits syncing back to the cloud and available on all your other devices.
  • Messages: In iOS 8, Messages will allow you to easily send voice messages, quick selfies, and videos to your contacts. Easily share your location and see the location of friends you've chosen to share that info with as well.
  • Keyboard: There are a few notable improvements to the keyboard in iOS 8. First, Apple now has a predictive typing system that learns the way you talk, offering up a quicker typing experience. Even more exciting, though, is that you will be able to download third-party keyboards from the App Store that will take the place of Apple's keyboard entirely. If you've been waiting for Swype on iPhone, it's almost here.
  • Interactive Notifications: Notifications are interactive in iOS 8. For example, you can reply to a message right from the notification without having to switch over to the Messages app, or accept/decline a calendar invite right from the dropdown. Notifications are also interactive on the Lock screen as well.
  • Family Sharing: Family Sharing makes it easy for up to six people in your family to share each other’s iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases. Whenever one person buys a new song, movie, or app, everybody gets access to that content. Accounts must all share the same credit card number to be added to a family account. Members of a Family Sharing account also get access to a family Photo Stream, calendar, Reminders list, and can share location.
  • iCloud Drive: Apple is finally allowing access to data stored on iCloud with the iCloud Drive feature. You can use iCloud as a storage folder for anything you'd like to put there, and can add storage space by upgrading to a higher tier.
  • Health: Fitness tracking is one of the pillar features in iOS 8
  • Continuity: Continuity will allow your Apple devices to talk to each other over Bluetooth. Start an email on your Mac, and continue it on your iPhone. Start messaging someone on your Apple Watch, and continue on your iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple also released the iOS 8 GM seed today.


Andru Edwards on GeekWire Radio: iPhone 6, Surface Watch, Fire Phone, and more

GeekWire Radio andru edwards

I made another appearance on this weeks episode of GeekWire Radio here in Seattle, Washington, keeping my streak alive as the person with the most guest appearances in GeekWire Radio history! In this episode, which also features Eyewitness News reporter Essex Porter (pictured with me above, and a huge Windows Phone advocate), we talk about a couple of recent Gear Live stories, including:

I brought in the two iPhone 6 mockups in both 4.7- and 5.5-inch varieties, which made for some good conversation. We also chat about the news of the week, which included the release of the Amazon Fire Phone, and we also had a discussion about what Microsoft needs to do to make Windows Phone more accepted by the general consumer. You can listen to the show now by grabbing the MP3 below, or hitting play in the widget.

Click to continue reading Andru Edwards on GeekWire Radio: iPhone 6, Surface Watch, Fire Phone, and more

Read More | GeekWire Radio (MP3)

Ask Andru: Which Macs can run OS X Yosemite?

OS X Yosemite

OS X 10.10, better known as Yosemite, represents the next-generation in Apple's desktop operating system. Yosemite brings a new look to the desktop experience, and also ties OS X and iOS together through a feature called Continuity that I bet will make work a lot easier for Apple users. With any big change, customers will wonder if their older hardware will be supported. We recently received this question from a reader named Steve:

Q: I'm excited to check out OS X Yosemite once it launches, the redesigned interface looks great! My MacBook Air is from 2010, and I was curious if you knew if it would run Yosemite without any issues, or if I have to upgrade my computer?

A: I agree--I think the look and feel of OS X Yosemite is a breath of fresh air. I've been using the Developer Preview since it was made available at WWDC 2014, and when I use a Mac that is running Mavericks or earlier, it already feels like a big step backwards from a design perspective. Now, on to system requirements! The nice thing about Yosemite is that Apple hasn't changed any of the system requirements from what was required to run Mavericks. In other words, all Macintosh products capable of running OS X Mavericks will be supported by Yosemite; as with Mavericks, 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB of available storage, and OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or later are required to upgrade. To make it easier to figure out if you're specific Mac is compatible, here is a listing of all the Apple hardware that is Yosemite-capable:

  • iMac Mid-2007 or newer
  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

As you can see, anyone who has bought a Mac within the past five years is covered and will be able to run OS X Yosemite. Mac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook aluminum buyers as far back as 2008 are also good. In fact, some MacBook Pro and iMac buyers from back in 2007 can even get in on the Yosemite action, and those computers are now 7 years old! This is a pretty large blanket of Mac users that will be able to enjoy the next generation of OS X, and I comment Apple for including as many Macs as it did.

OS X 10.10 Yosemite is set to launch later this fall, and will be available exclusively on the Mac App Store. At WWDC, Apple announced that it will be made available completely free to its users. Can't beat that!


How Cortana made the leap from Halo to Windows Phone

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Cell Phones, Features, Microsoft

Microsoft Cortana

Curious about how Cortana made her way from assisting Master Chief in Halo over to helping you out on Windows Phone? During a sit-down with Microsoft's Marcus Ash, he spoke to us about what it took to get Cortana just right on Windows Phone and to be seen as a legitimate competitor to Apple's Siri.

First, the Cortana logo was the first thing Microsoft has to get right. Originally, they didn't want a physical representation. The thought was that people could think it was creepy if it is "too human." They also didn't want it to be like Clippy, the infamous character from Microsoft Office that was hated by many. It was also decided that Cortana couldn't be just a voice, since it wouldn't feel the same.

Initially, Microsoft tried to use the Xbox Live avatar idea, but that was odd due to everyone having the female Cortana voice. Then they started playing around with the circle. A circle can stretch, bounce, and transform. They also tried triangles, diamonds, hearts, and the ability of letter the user choose any of these. At the end of the day, the circle next to Metro on the start screen looked good, so that was what Microsoft decided on. The next issue was that a simple circle isn't iconic, and is hard to brand. That's when the Windows Phone team met with the Halo team at 343 Industries.

Click to continue reading How Cortana made the leap from Halo to Windows Phone


Apple releases iOS 8 beta 5 build 12A4345d to developers, here’s what’s new!

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iOS 8 beta 5 download

Apple has just released iOS 8 beta 5, which can be found in the Developer Portal right now. iOS 8 beta 4 build 12A4345d works with supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, and is available as an over-the-air update to users already running a previous iOS 8 beta on their devices. If you're already running iOS 8, you can update over-the-air by going into Settings > General > Software Update. Or you can go and grab the necessary download at http://developer.apple.com. The update for the iPhone 5s comes in at 272MB in size. Apple originally showed off iOS 8, and released its first beta, at WWDC 2014. The full release will come in the fall. Apple also released OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 5 today as well.

Click to continue reading Apple releases iOS 8 beta 5 build 12A4345d to developers, here’s what’s new!


Apple releases iOS 8 beta 4 build 12A4331d to developers, here’s what’s new!

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iOS 8 beta 4 download

Apple has just released iOS 8 beta 4, which can be found in the Developer Portal right now. iOS 8 beta 4 build 12A4331d works with supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, and is available as an over-the-air update to users already running a previous iOS 8 beta on their devices. If you're already running iOS 8, you can update over-the-air by going into Settings > General > Software Update. Or you can go and grab the necessary download at http://developer.apple.com. Apple originally showed off iOS 8, and released its first beta, at WWDC 2014. The full release will come in the fall. Apple also released OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 4 today as well.

If you are a paid members of Apple's iOS developer program, here are the links for iOS 8 beta 4 downloads:

Click to continue reading Apple releases iOS 8 beta 4 build 12A4331d to developers, here’s what’s new!


Bleeding Edge TV 513: Our #DigitallyDark Giveaway Winner!

We announce the winner of our #DigitallyDark Absolute LoJack Premium Family Pack giveaway in this episode! Did you win?

Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel--also, we are giving away awesome perks for our Patreon backers - thanks for your support!

 

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