See just how awesome Apple Pencil can be in Notes

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Apple is making sure new iPad owners know all about the tablet’s new tricks with its series of educational how-to videos that keep coming out with updates. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s new how-to videos, Apple has published a new video showing how to use Apple Pencil on the new iPad to draw handwritten […]

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iPhone app turns your annoying table-drumming into awesome music

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Objeq is an enabler for table drummers. Tap out a rhythm on any surface, and this app will pick it up and process it into amazing-sounding percussion.

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Moog Model D, Fortnite and other awesome apps of the week

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A great music-making app recreating one of the all time great synthesizers on iOS is just one of our picks for this week’s “Awesome Apps of the Week.” In addition, we’ve got a superb Twitter client app update, the world’s most popular battle royale game, and a gamebook RPG recreating some of the genre classics […]

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5 awesome new iPhone features in iOS 11.3 that no one is talking about

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iOS 11 Features

It seems like it took forever, but Apple finally released its hotly anticipated iOS 11.3 update on Thursday afternoon. Why would a software update other than iOS 12 be hotly anticipated, you ask? Despite merely being a “dot” update, this iOS 11.3 release includes a feature that iPhone users have been dying for: a way to disable Apple’s automatic iPhone throttling on devices with older batteries.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, it was revealed earlier this year that Apple had been secretly limiting performance on older iPhone models with batteries that had degraded to a certain point. This mechanism had been added to iOS last year in an effort to prevent inadvertent shutdowns (remember the “30% bug”?), but the fact that Apple did it without telling customers played right into the planned obsolescence conspiracy theories. You know, the people who say Apple secretly slows down older devices to get people to buy new ones. We’ve all laughed at those theories for years… and then it actually happened — though according to statements from Apple, its goal was to stop phones from shutting down rather than force upgrades.

Whatever the case, new battery health features and the ability to disable throttling are definitely the most talked about additions to Apple’s mobile software in iOS 11.3. There are some other things that have Apple fans buzzing as well, such as four new Animoji characters — lion, bear, dragon, and skull — and notifications when iOS wants your personal data. There’s much more to the iOS 11.3 update, though, and in this post we’ll discuss five cool new features that you might not know about.

Speed and performance improvements

If you have an older iPhone and you disable Apple’s throttling feature, you’re obviously going to notice huge improvements where UI speed and overall performance are concerned. As a quick recap, Lithium-Ion batteries lose capacity over time as they endure more and more charge cycles. Once the remaining capacity reaches a certain point, earlier versions of iOS automatically throttle performance as a workaround for the shutdown bug that was driving users crazy. Phones would remain throttled until the battery was replaced, which is why Apple slashed the price of its battery swap program as a mea culpa. Now, in iOS 11.3, users can disable throttling so their older iPhones are no longer slowed down.

Yes, we all know that feature has been added to iOS 11.3. What far fewer people are discussing, however, is that RAM management appears to have been improved in iOS 11.3, which is also a huge deal.

iOS 11 has been plagued by serious RAM management issues ever since it was released. You know those real-life speed tests YouTubers love, where iPhones would always crush the latest Android phone? Well iPhones have been losing those races lately because they don’t use RAM efficiently. Apps that should remain “frozen” in the background were being close completely when new apps were opened because there wasn’t enough available RAM to store their statuses.

It’s still early, but my own initial testing suggests that Apple has made some improvements to RAM management. A number of other iPhone users have emailed me to report the same, and I’ve seen discussions start to pop up online. I have found that apps often remain frozen in the background in instances where they would have previously been force closed. As a result, switching around from app to app is far quicker than it was in earlier versions of iOS 11. Needless to say, this is a big deal.

Augmented Reality enhancements

ARKit is still relatively new and buzzy, but no one is really talking about the nifty enhancements Apple introduced in iOS 11.3. Here are the relevant notes from the iOS 11.3 change log:

  • ARKit 1.5 allows developers to place virtual objects on vertical surfaces, such as walls and doors, as well as on horizontal surfaces.
  • Supports the detection and integration of images, such as movie posters or works, into augmented reality experiences.
  • The real-world view perceived through the camera has a higher resolution as part of the augmented reality experience.

There are countless things that developers can do with these enhancements. As someone with a horrible eye for visualizing decor, I personally can’t wait for good apps that let me see what different paintings and prints will look like on my walls.

App review sorting

This might not seem like a big deal at first glance, but it is:

  • Four options now allow you to sort the customer reviews on the product pages: the most useful, the most favorable, the most critical or the most recent.

In general, customer reviews in the App Store are really, really, really bad. People get frustrated over silly things or they don’t understand something that should be obvious, so they hop on the App Store and leave a 1-star review. In iOS 11.3, people can finally sort app reviews to weed out the junk and more easily find reviews that are actually useful.

Username and passwords autofill in apps

This change is also a huge deal that people are going to love. In earlier versions of iOS 11, Safari could store usernames and passwords to autofill them on websites where users need to log in. Now, this functionality is finally available in apps, as per the following note from the iOS 11.3 change log:

  • Automatic filling of usernames and passwords is now available in apps’ web views.

So, for example, when you click through a link to The Wall Street Journal in your Twitter app, you can auto-fill your login info rather than having to leave the app and dig your username and password out of a third-party password manager like 1Password.

Death of the auto-correct capitalization bug

This last one is my personal favorite, because this is a bug that has bothered me forever. In fact, this bug might have been in iOS since the very beginning. Here’s the item of interest from Apple’s iOS 11 release notes:

  • Fixes a problem that could cause the capitalization of the first letter of some words by the automatic correction feature.

I’ll describe it a bit better, and iPhone users will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Sometimes as you’re typing messages, you would make a spelling mistake or some other mistake that auto-correct didn’t catch. So, you would hit the backspace button a bunch of times until the word in question was deleted. Because of this bug, when you finished deleting the first letter of the word in question, iOS would automatically engage the caps button even though the word you deleted didn’t start with a capital letter. Then, when you began to type again, the first letter would be capitalized even though it shouldn’t be.

For example, you might delete “teh”in the middle of a sentence and then replace it with “The,” which shouldn’t have been capitalized. It was beyond annoying, but now it’s finally fixed.

Apple – BGR

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AgileBits’ 1Password 7 for Mac beta is live, and it looks awesome

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Widely-used password manager 1Password just got an update, and it’s more full-featured than ever.

AgileBits’ 1Password password management app has been one of the most popular ways to securely keep track of multiple passwords for awhile. Now, the company has released a completely overhauled beta of 1Password 7 for the Mac, making it even more of a must-have tool for people who have literally any sort of account. According to AgileBits’ announcement, this beta is only “a taste of what’s to come,” but it’s already pretty jam-packed with improvements and new features.

Aesthetically, a lot has changed about 1Password for Mac — even the initial lock screen that appears when you launch the app. Though the change is super minor, the colors and design have been altered slightly, making it look more minimalist and tidy. And speaking of design, the entire interface of the app has also changed, replacing the stark, blindingly white background with skillfully chosen dark blue and gray tones. Font designer Alan Dague-Greene even created a new font specifically for 1Password 7 called “Courier Prime Bits.”

Also new is the revamped, “enhanced” sidebar that gives you access to your items, vaults, and more. You can now organize your vaults (which make it easier to categorize your passwords) by dragging and dropping — even if you want to drag them between two different accounts. And if you want to create a new vault, all you have to do is drag an item over the text in the menu bar that says “New Vault,” and one will be automatically created for you. What’s more, you can edit your vaults directly without ever needing to leave the app, allowing you to make changes even more quickly and easily than before.

Other notable features in the beta include rich formatting capabilities using Markdown in notes, better tag organization with nested tags, Secure Enclave for Touch ID, and integration with Troy Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned? database so you can be certain you don’t have any compromised passwords.

If you’d like to try the 1Password 7 beta for Mac, you can do so by clicking this link or by heading to AgileBits’ announcement (where, coincidentally, you can also check out more details about the update). If you’ve already got a 1Password membership, you’re good to go as soon as it’s downloaded, and can just unlock the app right away. However, if you only have a standalone license for version 6, you’ll be asked to either subscribe or purchase another license for version 7. Right now licenses are available for only $ 39.99 — that’s nearly $ 30 less than they’ll be when the update officially launches later this year — so if you’re interested, I’d get on it right away.

Thoughts?

What do you think of 1Password 7? Sound off in the comments!

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and other awesome apps of the week

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A great battle royale game that’s sure to become one of the year’s most popular titles (and isn’t Fortnite!) is just one of our picks for this week’s “Awesome Apps of the Week.” In addition, we’ve got a great update for a tremendous iPad drawing app, a minimalist puzzle game, and more. Check out our […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Review: Yale’s Assure Lock SL is an awesome HomeKit-enabled smart lock with room to grow [Video]

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When it comes to HomeKit devices, our own Zac Hall is the resident expert around these parts, but I’m doing my best to come up to speed with the plethora of options available. I recently took my first stab at installing a smart lock, the 3rd gen August Smart Lock, only to later find out that it wasn’t HomeKit compatible. It’s primarily my fault, because I wasn’t diligent enough with my research, but August, with its somewhat confusing nomenclature should take a portion of the blame as well.

Needless to say, I wasn’t keen on the idea of having a smart lock installed without HomeKit support. That would mean that I couldn’t unlock my door with Siri commands, couldn’t use the Home app to control the lock, and couldn’t use HomeKit automation to trigger other HomeKit-enabled devices. In other words, a smart lock without HomeKit support is just not something that appeals to me.

That’s not to say that the third-generation August Smart Lock is a bad product, because that certainly isn’t the case. It’s actually a decent product that’s inexpensive and easy to install. It’s just not for those who are knee-deep in the Apple/HomeKit ecosystem.

I reached out to Yale Real Living to inquire about reviewing its Assure Lock SL, which recently landed support for HomeKit via its iM1 network module. What I discovered was a modestly-featured smart lock with a fair amount of advanced controls. In fact, I’m strongly considering the purchase of another one. more…

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These 13 Awesome iOS 12 Concept Designs Will Bowl You Over

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iOS 12 Concept Designs

With Apple all set to unveil iOS 12 at WWDC 2018, the curiosity about the upcoming features has become truly intense. No wonder, numerous concept designs have flooded the Internet and are catching tons of eyeballs. Of course, not all that glitters is gold. However, these 13 iOS 12 concept designs are pretty cool and worth having a shot at!

If you haven’t been able to keep yourself at pace with all the attractive concepts about the forthcoming iOS version, give these renderings a glance. I bet; you would love to lap them with both the hands!

iOS 12 Concept Designs

Most Impressive iOS 12 Concept Designs

Grouped Notifications

Grouped notifications feature has been on my radar for long. I’m sure, many of you would be pinning for it as well.

Wouldn’t it be better if iOS combined similar alerts together to let you glance through them quickly? Yes, that would really be! I wish Apple brought this cool feature in iOS 12.

More Functional Control Center

iOS 12 Control Center Design

It would be cool if you could change network settings using 3D Touch right from inside Control Center. Besides, I would appreciate if the CC has a quick Dark Mode button for enabling/disabling this feature a bit quickly.

Limited Guest Mode

Limited Guest Mode in iOS 12

This concept brings guest mode to iOS that lets you control which apps will be available for use. You can also set the password for secure access. From Settings app, you will be able to control and restrict this mode. Perfect for the folks who never want to annoy their naughty kids!

App Switcher

iOS 12 App Switcher Concept

It presents a more functional App Switcher. You can just swipe from the left on your device screen to bring up all the apps which are currently opened and then easily hop into the one you want to use. And just in case, you wish to kill them all, there is also a close all button.

App Bar

iOS 12 App Bar

With the App Bar, you can instantly access all of your favorite apps just by pressing hard and swiping left from right on the screen. It would be an ideal feature if you often use a particular set of apps. Prime for your special penchant for social networking apps!

Sound Bar

iOS 12 Sound Bar

Wow! This sound bar looks well thought out and offers a better way to change volume.

New Incoming Call Design

iOS 12 Incoming Call Design

This new concept for incoming calls design shows the option to ignore calls and also activate the quiet mode.

Non-Intrusive Phone Calls

iOS 12 Non-Intrusive Phone Calls Feature

Your phone calls don’t take the entire screen of your iPhone. Instead, it has a small panel, which you can remove just by swiping it up.

Access Camera Setting right From Camera App

iOS 12 Quick Camera Settings

Imagine you are all geared up to shoot a fine video, suddenly you wish to switch to 4K at 60fps from 4K at 30fps. Wouldn’t you find it a little annoying to leave the Camera app and go to Settings to adjust the setting? Ten to one, you would!

Lock Apps

iOS 12 Lock Apps

Just like many users, I have been craving for an option to lock apps using either Touch ID or Face ID.

An ideal option to prevent your jealous bro from often bumping into your personal party images!

Multiple Timers

Mutiple Timers in iOS 12

Ohh… I would indeed want to have Multiple Timers in the Clock app! They have missing since ages.

Instantly Access Weather Forecast from Lock Screen

Weather Forecast from iOS 12 Lock screen

Simply swipe down from the selfie camera to glance through the weather forecast.

Redesigned Apple Music App

iOS 12 Redesign Music App

Well-known designer Lior Azulay has come with a new design with an all-new design. It automatically changes with background colors to match album art and visual animations.

With simple swipe gestures, it allows you to skip tracks. The concept shows improved controls to let you fine-tune your music tad comfortably. It has an eye-catching landscape mode that enlivens the erstwhile Coverflow. Watch the video to find out how cool the concept is!

Images courtesy: Behance.net, 9to5mac.com

Stay Tuned for More!

Now that you have taken a peek at all the above features, which one do you want to be on your iPhone? Also, if you have designed a nice concept, do not fail to let us know that as well.

Catch up with these posts as well:

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our app and stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus for more news and updates related to iOS 12.

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Fortnite, Textor, and other awesome apps of the week

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Fortnite, arguably the most anticipated iOS game of 2018, is just one of our selections for “Awesome Apps of the Week.” In addition, we’ve got Google’s AI assistant newly landed on iPad, a neat update to one of the most popular third-party keyboards around, and a great basic text-editing app for iOS. Check out our […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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6 awesome videos show off iMac Pro’s impressive power

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Apple asked six filmmakers to create short videos that highlight the cababilities of the recently-released iMac Pro. The results debuted today: trippy, abstract films that are mesmerizing to watch. All are quite short (under 30 seconds) and include a quick plug for the computer, and so could be turned into advertisements, either online on TV. […]

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