Friday, June 23, 2017

Google No Longer Using User's Emails to Personalize Ads

Google has announced that they will no longer scan your Gmail inbox to help personalize ads. While that's nice and all, that's the equivalent of a restaurant saying they'll start using 100% real meat in their food. Why was it like that before? It's hard to believe they've been doing it for so long. Of course, we've known they've been doing it all this time. Despite this, it's definitely a step in the right direction and I applaud Google for being direct with us.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Multiple Restaurants Receiving Apple Pay Support with Loyalty Rewards

Punchh, a cloud-based loyalty program, has announced that they will bring Apple Pay support to multiple restaurants. The restaurants include Quiznos, Smashburger, MOD Pizza, and more. I have been waiting a long time for more businesses to adopt the Apple Pay loyalty passes. Hopefully, we'll see much more of this in the future. Gone are the days of installing individual apps for every business we go to, just for some rewards card.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Unicode 10's New Emoji

With another update to Unicode standards, we see more emoji. We see a followup to the infamous thinking face 🤔, the thinking face with monocle. Speechless and can't use words? The mind blown emoji is just for you! And don't even get me started on how we've made it this far without an emoji with a raised eyebrow. Endless riveting text conversations. I can already imagine a second Emoji Movie. Anyways, I'm hoping we'll see these emoji in iOS 11 in the fall, but we'll probably see it in October in a supplementary update, like iOS 11.1.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Apple Releases 'The Archives' Ad

Apple released a new ad called "The Archives." This ad demonstrates how the Memories feature in Photos can be a great way to look back on life. It follows an archivist looking at physical Live Photos and putting them together to create a movie for the user. The ad is trying to convey how Memories have a personal touch to them. The ad is available to watch below or on YouTube.

Monday, June 19, 2017

IKEA and ARKit

Apple's ARKit looks really cool, at least from the demos. While I find AR to be gimmicky in gaming, using it well in practical situations, like navigation or furniture placing is a great idea. IKEA has plans for including ARKit in a furniture placing app. This would help people imagine furniture in their homes. If properly executed, it would be much easier to see how well that couch will fit in your room. The app is expected to launch this fall. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Google Takeout

If you are graduating or leaving a school that uses the G Suite (i.e. a school-issued Google account), your account will probably be deleted. To ensure you keep all of your files, use Google Takeout. Google Takeout will take many of your files from various Google services, including Google Drive, and put them in a zip file for download. This serves as an easy way to download all of your files. I hope this helps!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

'Lose Your Wallet' Apple Pay Shopping Event

Apple is advertising an Apple Pay shopping event for San Francisco. Titled "Lose Your Wallet," some stores in Hayes Valley and The Marina will be offering exclusive discounts or offers for those who use Apple Pay. It's cool to see a shopping event like this, however I personally prefer the online offers for Apple Pay, since they work anywhere. The event runs from June 23-25.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Birthdays on watchOS 4

According to mrToasty via MacRumors, watchOS 4 will celebrate your birthday with a special notification. It wishes you happy birthday with a balloon effect similar to that of iMessage. This feature may be inspired by Siri's large prescence in the update.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Developers Continue to be Disappointed with Mac App Store

The Mac App Store has not seen the same success as its iOS counterpart. Setapp polled 742 developers about the Mac App Store. The results showed that only 23% of the sample used the Mac App Store as their sole method of Mac app distribution. 30% solely used a method outside of the Mac App Store. 47% used both. It's clear the Mac App Store suffers from flaws that the iOS counterpart doesn't. This is likely due to Apple taking a cut of the profits and their strict regulation on apps. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

iPhone 8 Will Be Waterproof with Wireless Charging

Nikkei Asian Review reports that the iPhone 8 will include wireless charging and a waterproof design. It should be noted that the iPhone 7 is advertised by Apple as "water-resistant" and not waterproof, yet that doesn't seem to be a problem for most. Given this rumor, we can expect a very solid phone coming from Apple in the fall.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

iPad Pro Now Available at Apple Stores

The iPad Pros announced last week at WWDC are now available at Apple Retail Stores. In store pickup is also available for stores with stock. Many pre-orders for iPad Pro have been delivered. Engraved iPads are only available from the online store and may take extra processing time. The 10.5-inch model starts at $649.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Safari Autoplay Blocking

In macOS High Sierra, Safari will be getting a few new features. Apple has been focusing hard on controlling things that ruin the user's experience. One of these things are autoplaying videos. These videos are often found on news sites and automatically play as an advertisement, distracting from the written article. This is embarrassing if you're in a library or work setting with the volume turned up. Thankfully, we can start to hope this to be a thing of the past with macOS High Sierra.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

iOS 11 Business Chat

iOS 11 will be offering a more subtle feature focused on connecting businesses and customers: Business Chat. Business Chat allows customers to use iMessage to communicate with local businesses regarding queries, appointments, and support. No more having to call businesses to receive a long, boring automated message. If there's enough adoption, this could be a really cool feature. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Google Suggested Clips

If you search on Google for something like a tutorial, you'll probably find a video that will teach you. But you don't want to see the entire clip, just the part that's relevant to your query. Google now shows you a suggested clip from the video. This excerpt is relevant to your search query and will save you time from long introductions and off-topic information.

Friday, June 9, 2017

iOS 11 App Reviews

We've all had the annoying prompts come up asking us to rate an app [Source: 9to5Mac]. Many of us disregard these messages only to see them come up again. Now, there's a better way, and it's required by Apple. An Apple-designed prompt will appear asking the user to rate the app. Without leaving the app, the user can rate the app on a scale of one to five. If the user declines, this message may only appear up to three times a year. These prompts can also be removed completely through Settings.

Image Credit: 9to5Mac

Thursday, June 8, 2017

iOS 11 Custom Apple Watch Faces

According to MacRumors, iOS 11 has a share sheet available for Photos that allows a custom watch face to be created. Normally, the user doesn't have too much of a choice when it comes to which photos appear on a watch face, as most of the time, watchOS shuffles an album and picks a photo for you. This feature makes it easy to pick a particular photo. In addition, you can choose to make it into a kaleidoscope watch face.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

iOS 11 WiFi Password Sharing

iOS 11 will make it easier than ever to share WiFi access [Source: 9to5Mac]. Simply have one iOS device attempt to connect to a network. Meanwhile, have another iOS device (connected to the network) nearby. A prompt will appear on the connect iOS device asking them if they want to share access. If accepted, the device will now be connected to the WiFi network.

Image Credit: 9to5Mac

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Natively Scan QR Codes in iOS 11

According to MacRumors, QR codes can now be scanned from the Camera app. When a QR code is detected in the viewfinder, a banner notification will appear. This passively asks the user to act on the QR code. A very simple way to scan QR codes without the need for an external app.

Monday, June 5, 2017

32-Bit Apps in iOS 11

I'm sure you've heard the news at WWDC today, but if you haven't there's minimal spoilers here. Anyways, in February, we learned that 32-bit apps in iOS will not be compatible with iOS eventually.  We now know that they are not compatible with iOS 11 [Source: MacRumors]. Many outdated apps will no longer work when using iOS 11. To check if you'll be affected, go to Settings > General > About > Applications. You'll see a list of apps with no updates available that will not work with iOS 11.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Files App for iOS 11

Found by Steven Troughton-Smith, there is a 'Files' app placeholder on the App Store. This is likely a system able that can be deleted in iOS 11. As for functionality, it's probably a file system for iOS. There is nothing notable in the description or in the screenshots. We'll see how Files works tomorrow at WWDC.