Apple Updates Pages, Numbers, Keynote Apps on macOS and iOS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Update brings over 500 professionally drawn shapes
  • All three apps get auto-correction and text replacement
  • Some app-specific features have been added as well

Apple on Tuesday updated its iWork suite of apps that include Pages, Numbers, and Keynotes across macOS and iOS. The update adds a new library of over 500 professionally drawn shapes to all apps on both platforms along with some other new features and additions tailored for each OS.

Apple Updates Pages, Numbers, Keynote Apps on macOS and iOS

The professionally drawn shapes can be found within categories like Objects, Education, Places, Activities, Animals, Nature, Food, Symbols, Transportation, Arts, People, and Work and across all the three iWork apps. The new categories can now be found with previously existing shapes and can be accessed by tapping on the plus icon in the navigation menu and selecting the shapes sub-category.

apple keynote shapes apple

On macOS, apart from the new shapes, the new features common across all three iWork apps include the ability to reply to comments and join threaded conversations; new auto-correction and text replacement options; and Stock and Currency functions, which now returns data from the previous market day’s close. There’s also support for Hebrew and Arabic within Pages and Keynote.

The update to Keynotes on Mac will also bring new pan and zoom options, and you can now edit presenter notes while displaying slides in Light Table view. In Pages for Mac, iPhone and iPad, you can now add linked text boxes, export documents as fixed layout ePub books and change margins, headers, footers and paper size while collaborating. Numbers gets support for print preview.

iwork update apple ios ios

On iOS, new common features across the three apps include the ability to reply to comments and join threaded conversations, and new auto-correction and text replacement options. The most notable additions include view options for Keynote and Pages. In Keynote for iOS, you will now be able to rearrange your slides with the new Light Table view, which will let you view all your slides on a grid. A similar feature can also be found in Pages, giving you a thumbnail view of each page of a document for easier navigation.

You can download the latest versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iOS and Mac from the App Store.

Apple MacBook Lineup Refresh Expected at WWDC 2017 Next Week

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple has been tipped to upgrade MacBook Pro with new processors
  • MacBook Air has been suggested to be updated at WWDC 2017 as well
  • Apple might launch a MacBook model with 32GB of RAM as well

Apple has been rumoured to update its laptop lineup at its WWDC event early next month but now there are some strong indications, this time coming from company’s own official site, which suggest that it would be wise to wait before you buy your next MacBook. As per Apple’s online store, the delivery times of 15-inch MacBook Pro have now been delayed to June 5- June 6, which is one day after company’s WWDC keynote, from usual deliveries on same day or 3-5 business days.

While the delivery estimates for the 13-inch MacBook models have not been changed and the laptops are available for delivery as soon as the next day, the recent changes give credence to a report that suggested that Apple is planning to launch new MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook models on June 5, as pointed out in a report by MacRumors.

Apple MacBook Lineup Refresh Expected at WWDC 2017 Next Week

Usually when the delivery times are changed on Apple’s official website, they indicate that the company is planning to launch new products and as the Cupertino-based company’s event is right around the corner, we might be able to see new MacBook models. Conventionally, WWDC is associated with software but this time around, the event has been heavily linked with launch of new hardware products.

Earlier this month, a report suggested that Apple will be refreshing its MacBook lineup, with updates lined up for 12-inch MacBook, the MacBook Pro, and the almost forgotten MacBook Air as well.

 

First coming to the MacBook Pro upgrade, Apple has been tipped to update the laptop with Intel’s Kaby Lake processor series, from the current SkyLake processors. Further, the company is expected to launch a 32GB RAM variant of the 15-inch MacBook Pro to cater to the need of professional users, as pointed out in a report by 9To5Mac. There are reportedly some price cuts to the existing models that can be expected to be announced at WWDC 2017.

The 12-inch variant of the MacBook laptop series has been tipped to be upgraded with new Kaby Lake processors as well as receive a new 16GB RAM option as per KGI, 9To5Mac points out.

Finally coming to the MacBook Air, while the upgrade rumours for the laptop are thin and hard to find, the laptop is expected to be refreshed with new processors at the very least.

As all of this talks is from rumour town, we will have to wait till the company’s official announcement next month to get any confirmation about the laptops.

 

Google Assistant for iPhone Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google Assistant works on iOS 9.1 or later
  • It’s only available for now via App Store in the US
  • Siri has a few homegrown advantages

Google Assistant now lives on the iPhone. Its purpose lies in its name: to help you with your day-to-day life, be it set reminders, play music, fire off emails, give you directions, and tell you random facts, among other things. If you’re thinking that’s what Siri is for, you’re right. Except Google’s offering can actually hold a conversation.

Ask Siri and the Assistant the capital of Uruguay, and they’ll both give you the same response. (It’s Montevideo, if you were curious.) But when you ask a follow-up question, say “What’s the weather like?”, Siri gives you the weather at your current location. It has already forgotten the query that came before. Google Assistant, on the other hand, can handle context, which allows it to give you the weather for Montevideo, and not where you are. You can then move the conversation forward, querying the best time to visit, or the places you should see.

Google Assistant for iPhone Review

That’s one of the things that makes the Assistant slightly unique. The other is the way you communicate; you can chat with Google’s digital assistant by either talking or typing, the latter of which Siri doesn’t do. It’s probably worth a mention that you could do the same inside Google’s chat app, Allo, earlier but Assistant now available without that convolution, as a standalone app. The ability to type and interact means you can use the Assistant on the train, or in a meeting, without feeling like a dork.

At launch, the Assistant is capable of a lot. Apart from the functionality listed above, it can initiate calls, provide answers or translations, play games, fetch sports scores, set timers, look up stock prices, places nearby, or the definition of any word; get flight status, your next meeting, food nutrition, or the news; and remember little nuggets of information (such as your bike lock). A lot of that is made possible by Google’s Knowledge Graph or linking into other Google apps: Calendar, Gmail, News, and so forth. It doesn’t support all of Google’s apps though, as you can’t use Inbox for emails, or Play Music for listening to music on iOS.

google assistant siri iphone Google Assistant Siri iPhone

You can even set up shortcuts in the app settings, which helps you cut down on repeating long phrases over and over to achieve the same thing. As an example, if you love watching videos of Corgi dogs on YouTube as a pick-me-up, you can set up a shortcut phrase, say, “Cheer me up”, which will then trigger the Assistant follow the much longer and complex command – “Show me Corgi videos on YouTube”.

But at the same time, owing to Apple’s baked-in restrictions, there’s a lot it can also not do. For one, it can’t talk to other apps like Siri can. That means it can’t call an Uber, or send a message through WhatsApp. It’s also not allowed to talk directly to any system apps and services, so you won’t be able to make handsfree calls, or toggle the Bluetooth setting.

The Google Assistant also steps into puddles of its own making on iOS. Every now and then, it tends to suggest features it can’t actually do – like “Start watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix on the TV” or “Play workout music on Google Play Music” – probably because of its roots in the Google ecosystem, but this is something that needs to be fixed, as it’s needlessly confusing for inexperienced users.

The first time we asked the Assistant to play music, it suggested “Listen to Imagine on Spotify” in the line below. But upon selecting it, it ruefully reminded us that it couldn’t do that. Another time, after singing a short song (yep, it can sing), one of the suggestions read “Tell me a poem”. Again, the function completely failed, and it instead looked up “Song Poem” on Apple Music. And though you can play anything on YouTube, much like on Android, Assistant for iOS still hasn’t been integrated with Google’s Chromecast hardware, so you can’t ask it to play stuff on your TV, like you can with Google Home.

IMG 2143 Google Assistant iPhone

Of course it’s not as simple to bring up Google Assistant as holding down the home button for Siri. Google’s way around that has to been craft a widget that you can quickly get to in iOS 10’s new widget panel. If you’ve place it at the top, you can get it by swiping right from the lock screen, from the left of home screen, or by pulling down the notification drawer and swiping right. But it’s still nowhere as convenient as the single press of a button. Even more so if you have security (passcode/ Touch ID) turned on, as pressing the widget’s button on the lock screen prompts you to unlock the phone.

What’s worse, for now, Google Assistant is only available via the US App Store (and in turn, only in US English), so its availability is limited at best. And thanks to the single language support – the Google Assistant is available in English (India) on Android – the iOS counterpart isn’t obviously as good with picking up Indian names.

But there are ways the Assistant is also better on iPhone than Android, surprisingly. You can listen to the news on iOS, and even customise your preferred news sources in the settings. If you ask the Assistant to “listen to the news” on Android, it starts searching for music called “the news” on Play Music, funnily enough.

For what it’s worth, it’s a kink waiting to be resolved, and the Assistant will always be more helpful on Android, thanks to the deeper integration. And for as long as Siri gets priority override on the iPhone, Google Assistant can hang around on Apple’s turf, but this will never be its true home.

iOS 11 Camera App's QR Code Support to Enable New Integrations

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Users won’t need to use third-party apps for scanning QR codes
  • QR codes enable users to perform several actions with simple scanning
  • iOS 11 will be made widely available in fall

Apple has added native support for scanning QR codes to camera app in iOS 11, which means that users will not require a third-party application just to scan the Quick Response codes for day-to-day use. With the addition of this feature, new possibilities and uses cases will open up for users in terms of what they can do by simply scanning a QR code with their camera app.

iOS 11 Camera App's QR Code Support to Enable New Integrations

9To5Mac has a compilation of the new features that iOS 11 camera app’s QR code support will enable. This includes adding contacts, adding events to calendars, as well as placing phone calls. With the native support for QR Code scanning in the iOS camera app, users will be able to perform these actions without having to switch to a third-party app, and leverage integration with the corresponding app like Contacts, Calendar, and Phone. Additionally, QR codes can be used to send emails with predefined email addresses and messages, search addresses, going to certain website addresses, and connecting to Wi-Fi networks.

Now hold on to that last bit, while configuring wireless networks using QR codes is definitely easier than manually adding the password, Apple has already introduced a new feature with iOS 11 that eliminates even the need of scanning QR code. With the newly added feature for easy Wi-Fi sharing, users can simply allow other users to join the network by giving permission with a single tap through another connected device.

 

Notably, QR Codes can also be created with callback-URLs, which allow users or third party applications to jump directly into certain specific areas within the app, the report points out. This means that users will be able to reach a particular part within the app by just scanning a particular QR code. This can enable new opportunities for app developers and offer convenience for users as well.

Users who are already on the developer preview for iOS 11 can start scanning right away while those who are still on earlier versions of the platform can currently use third-party applications till iOS 11 is eventually rolled out widely in Fall this year

 

iPhone 8 Front and Back Panel Leaked Images Reveal Bezel-Less Design

HIGHLIGHTS

  • iPhone 8 is tipped to have a glass back
  • The front display is expected to be edge-to-edge
  • The fingerprint sensor is tipped to be underneath the display

iPhone 8 renders have been leaked on multiple occasions, but now the device’s individual parts are now cropping up online. These arrive just at the time when mass production of the iPhone 8 has reportedly begun. The latest iPhone 8 leaks show us the front and back panel, the camera ring at the back, and even the metal frame of the upcoming Apple flagship.

iPhone 8 Front and Back Panel Leaked Images Reveal Bezel-Less Design

A Reddit user named Kamikasky has posted front and back panel images of the iPhone 8, showing design iterations. He claims to have gotten hold of these from an industry source, who got it from the Chinese manufacturers directly. The leak shows that the iPhone 8 has a glass back, with the Apple logo and the vertical dual camera setup at the back. There is no cut out for the fingerprint scanner on the back panel, fortunately. The camera ring has also been leaked, and it shows places for two sensors, with the flash sitting in between the two.

At the front, there is no cut-out for a Home Button either, pretty much cementing the rumours that the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor will be embedded into the display. Apart from the upper lip bezel for the front camera, speaker, and sensors, the bezels on the remaining three sides have been pushed back to give the front panel a nearly bezel-less look. The tipster has also leaked images of the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus back covers, showing glass frames, indicating that wireless charging is coming to all three iPhones.

iphone8 main11 iPhone 8

Photo Credit: Reddit/Kamikasy

Separately, the iPhone 8 metal frame has been leaked by SlashLeaks as well, giving us an idea of how the components will be placed inside the phone. The frame is compared alongside the iPhone 6 case as well, indicating that the iPhone 8 will be a little taller and wider than the older variant. Apart from this, there is little else that the frame reveals.

iphone8 main111 iPhone 8

Photo Credit: SlashLeaks

The iPhone 8 is also expected to be powered by the A11 chip, feature an OLED panel, have a 3D front camera, and sport some AR features as well. While some report of a delay in launch, some reports claim that the iPhone 8 is on schedule and will launch in September.

Foxconn Says Apple, Dell Part of Its Bid for Toshiba Chip Business

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple, Dell, & Kingston are part of the Toshiba’s chip unit business bid
  • Toshiba said Amazon, Google, Microsoft, & Cisco too are a part
  • Toshiba is planning to sell its chip business unit

Apple Inc, computing giant Dell Inc and Kingston Technology Co are members of a Foxconn-led consortium bidding for Toshiba Corp’s chip unit, the CEO of the world’s largest electronics manufacturer told Reuters on Monday.

Terry Gou, Foxconn’s founder and chief executive, also said Amazon.com Inc was close to joining and that the Taiwanese firm was also in discussions with Google, Microsoft Corp and Cisco Systems Inc about their participation in the bid.

Foxconn Says Apple, Dell Part of Its Bid for Toshiba Chip Business

He declined to comment on the total size of the offer or say how much Apple and other US firms planned to invest in the bid.

“I can tell you Apple is in for sure,” Gou said in an interview, adding that its participation had been approved by the Chief Executive Tim Cook and Apple’s board of directors.

 

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, and its Japanese unit Sharp Corp would have a combined stake of not more than 40 percent, he added.

Representatives for Apple and the other US firms named by Gou could not be immediately reached for comment outside of regular business hours. Sharp declined to comment.

Apple Updates Pages, Numbers, Keynote Apps on macOS and iOS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Update brings over 500 professionally drawn shapes
  • All three apps get auto-correction and text replacement
  • Some app-specific features have been added as well

Apple on Tuesday updated its iWork suite of apps that include Pages, Numbers, and Keynotes across macOS and iOS. The update adds a new library of over 500 professionally drawn shapes to all apps on both platforms along with some other new features and additions tailored for each OS.

Apple Updates Pages, Numbers, Keynote Apps on macOS and iOS

The professionally drawn shapes can be found within categories like Objects, Education, Places, Activities, Animals, Nature, Food, Symbols, Transportation, Arts, People, and Work and across all the three iWork apps. The new categories can now be found with previously existing shapes and can be accessed by tapping on the plus icon in the navigation menu and selecting the shapes sub-category.

apple keynote shapes apple

On macOS, apart from the new shapes, the new features common across all three iWork apps include the ability to reply to comments and join threaded conversations; new auto-correction and text replacement options; and Stock and Currency functions, which now returns data from the previous market day’s close. There’s also support for Hebrew and Arabic within Pages and Keynote.

The update to Keynotes on Mac will also bring new pan and zoom options, and you can now edit presenter notes while displaying slides in Light Table view. In Pages for Mac, iPhone and iPad, you can now add linked text boxes, export documents as fixed layout ePub books and change margins, headers, footers and paper size while collaborating. Numbers gets support for print preview.

iwork update apple ios ios

On iOS, new common features across the three apps include the ability to reply to comments and join threaded conversations, and new auto-correction and text replacement options. The most notable additions include view options for Keynote and Pages. In Keynote for iOS, you will now be able to rearrange your slides with the new Light Table view, which will let you view all your slides on a grid. A similar feature can also be found in Pages, giving you a thumbnail view of each page of a document for easier navigation.

You can download the latest versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iOS and Mac from the App Store.

iOS 11 Drag and Drop Support on iPhone Discovered by Developer, but It's Disabled by Apple

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Drag and Drop feature is currently exclusive to iPad
  • The feature was announced at WWDC 2017
  • A hidden setting can be used to enable the feature on the iPhone

Among the several key changes introduced with iOS 11, drag-and-drop feature quickly became a topic of discussion in the tech world. However, the new feature turned out to be an exclusive for iPad. Interestingly, a developer has now found out that the Cupertino-based company has added the support for the feature in iOS 11 for iPhone as well but kept it disabled for users as of now.

For those who are unaware, the drag-and-drop feature in iOS 11 allows users to drag items such as pictures and links from one app to the other, just like PC users have been able to do since ages. As this feature can put up a strong case in favour of iPad as a PC replacement, the larger mobile device has been the focus for this feature.iOS 11 Drag and Drop Support on iPhone Discovered by Developer, but It's Disabled by Apple

However, developer Steven Troughton-Smith has now found out that drag-and-drop feature has been keep hidden in the iOS 11 beta for iPhone and is currently vaulted by system settings inside the platform that are inaccessible to end users. Troughton-Smith was able to make the function work in an iOS emulator and it seems to work exactly as it does on an iPad.

 

Notably, a Twitter user named Dave Schukin also suggested recently that drag-and-drop feature is supported by iOS 11 on iPhones, though at the time he suggested the feature only works within the same app.

Steven Troughton-Smith went a step ahead further and has suggested that if the company chooses to do away with a physical Home button on the next iPhone, it can consider the soft Home button as a potential ‘drop target’ for the feature as well.

While it is understood that Apple decided to stick to iPad for the feature as it seems rather convenient to perform other complicated tasks such as multi-tasking on the larger display, it would be interesting to see if the Cupertino-based company brings this feature to the iPhone as well.

 

Arguments, Divorces, and More: ‘The Secret History’ Behind the Original iPhone

HIGHLIGHTS

  • ‘The One Device’ book will be launched on June 20
  • Excerpts from the book have been published online ahead of launch
  • The Kindle version of the book will be priced at $14.99

To mark iPhone’s 10 year anniversary, author Brian Merchant has penned a book for Apple that details the ‘inner dish’ behind bringing the first iPhone to the market. While the book – named ‘The One Device: The secret history of the iPhone’ – is set to release on June 20, and the author has released excerpts from it online, revealing juicy details about the development of the first iPhone. In fact, according to the excerpt shared by Merchant, Senior VP of Marketing Phil Schiller was not so thrilled about the idea of a full touchscreen, and wanted to integrate a physical keyboard on the iPhone.Arguments, Divorces, and More: ‘The Secret History’ Behind the Original iPhone

In the excerpt, revealing juicy bits as told by Apple engineers and employees of that time. The excerpt, a few pages long, details how the team was brought together to work on a ‘secret project’, how employees from Apple’s workforce – the best engineers it had back then – were whisked away mysteriously to work on a new project for two and a half years. The engineers on the iPhone team had to go through immense pressure to make the first iPhone a reality, with some even blaming their divorce on the iPhone. “Yeah, the iPhone ruined more than a few marriages,” says an employee in the excerpt, something the author heard more than once while conducting research for the book.

While hardware was a challenge in itself, building the software for the iPhone was not an easy task either. Even though, then-CEO Steve jobs approved the iPhone project only in 2004, the software was a result of thirty years of research and tinkling, the excerpt claims.

It gives us juicy bits about how the secret iPhone team was gathered. “Henri and I walked into his office,” [Richard] Williamson recalls, “and we said, ‘Andre, you don’t really know us, but we’ve heard a lot about you, and we know you’re a brilliant engineer, and we want you to come work with us on a project we can’t tell you about. And we want you to do it now. Today.’ ” Merchant also delves into many accounts recalled by the ‘iPod godfather’ Tony Fadell himself.

Fadell, who worked as Senior Vice President of the iPod Division at Apple from March 2006 to November 2008, claims that he secretly worked on building iTunes for the Windows software, even though Jobs didn’t approve of it. Fadell also notes that Schiller was not so excited about the touchscreen.

 

“When the rest of the team had decided to move on multitouch and a virtual keyboard, Schiller put his foot down. Steve looked at him and goes, ‘I’m sick and tired of this stuff. Can we get off of this?’ And he threw him out of the meeting,” Fadell recalls. Later, he says, “Steve and he had it out in the hallway. He was told, like, Get on the program or get the f* out. And he ultimately caved.” That cleared it up: the phone would be based on a touchscreen. “We all know this is the one we want to do,” Jobs said in a meeting, pointing to the touchscreen. “So let’s make it work.”

However, Schiller took to Twitter soon after to rubbish those claims, and Fadell even tweeted that he has asked Merchant to retract that statement from the book. For a game-changing product like the iPhone, there was a competition of sorts between two projects, named P1 and P2, to become the prototype for the first Apple phone. While the former was an attempt to bring features of a phone to the iPod, the latter tried to shrink the Mac software onto a device that can fit in your palm. Of course, the latter was the one with the touchscreen, the one that won the competition and became the prototype for the first iPhone. But that seems to only be the first leg of a long journey that would change the multiple industries as well as how the world used phones and computers.

The book also elaborates how many Apple executives’ distaste for the mobile phones available at the time was also an instrumental factor in the development of the iPhone. That, and the fears that mobile phones with music-playback capability could effectively doom the iPod into oblivion. Thus, the company started collaborating with Motorola on the Moto Rokr, the phone with iTunes baked in.

Quoting Fadell, the excerpt says, “It was, How can we make it a very small experience, so they still had to buy an iPod? Give them a taste of iTunes and basically turn it into an iPod Shuffle so that they’ll want to upgrade to an iPod. That was the initial strategy.” However, the Apple team did not have many exceptions from the Rokr. Nonetheless, the phone continued because “Steve [Jobs] was gathering information during those meetings with Motorola and Cingular.”

To read more details chronicled in the excerpt, head to The Verge, or wait it out till the Kindle version of the entire book releases on June 20 for $14.99 (roughly Rs. 1,000).

Apple announces a new operating system for the Mac: High Sierra

Image result for Apple announces a new operating system for the Mac: High SierraApple’s senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi took the stage during Apple’s WWDC 2017 in San Jose on Monday where he unveiled macOS High Sierra.

MacOS High Sierra is the successor to macOS Sierra, which Apple announced last year. It offers plenty of new features.

Safari is faster, Apple said, and will prevent videos from autoplaying when you visit a page. It also has “Intelligent tracking prevention” to make sure websites aren’t invading your privacy and revealing your history.

Mail has also been refined with new search functions. Spotlight now controls search within mail. The app also now supports split view, so you can type out an email while doing something else, like surfing the web.

Federighi said the largest refinement in macOS High Sierra is in Photos, which now lets you search by keyword, favorites, type of photo and even by face with facial recognition (Apple has worked with this before.) Any edits made to photos in Photoshop sync right back to the Photos app, too.

Apple File System is also coming to macOS as the new default file management system. It was originally announced last year and helps Apple provide more secure storage.

macOS Sierra also supports virtual reality for the first time ever, which will be enabled by new powerful computers Apple is announcing during the show, such as its new iMacs.

macOS High Sierra will be available in the coming months.