7 Updates Available

In case you missed it, Apple held their annual release event last month and it was highly anticipated within the Donkeylogic office to see if the Internet-fuelled rumours were true. After a stint of Carpool Karaoke with Tim Cook and James Corden, Apple went on to reveal their new products.

It all kicked off with perhaps the most exciting news (from our point of view anyway)… Mario and friends are finally coming to the App Store. Since the viral “success” and reinvention of Pokemon, thanks to the Pokemon Go app, Nintendo have decided to bring the world’s favourite Goomba-squashing plumber in on the action.

Apple then moved on to the Apple Watch and the success that they had with the first watch. The new Apple Watch Series 2 sports a brighter display and built-in GPS. Niantic, the developer responsible for the run away viral success Pokemon Go also announced Apple Watch support, giving those budding Pokemon trainers out there another way to keep up with their Pokedex.

More news about the Apple Watch Series 2 is that Apple yet again worked closely with Nike to introduce a more fitness-based emphasis to the watch. The new Nike watches helps you lead a healthier life by tracking a number of health-related features like distance, pace, speed, calorie burn and, with the Nike+ version, access to the Nike+ Run Club. There are specific elements focusing on swimming as it can detect the stroke being swum as well as the number of laps all aided by the fact that both the Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Nike+ are now water resistant up to 50m. Another new feature is that after the watch has been immersed in water, the speaker will vibrate to expel any water inside its tiny resonance chamber to ensure the watch’s safety (and prevent any leak!).

The wait was then over to find out what has changed with for the new iPhone 7. Tim Cook claimed that the iPhone 7 is the “best iPhone ever” which someone pointed out would be fairly evident because it wouldn’t have had the same appeal if he said it was the second best iPhone Apple have created. Coming in two new colours (two different blacks), the iPhone 7 is both water and dust resistant although it is advised not to take it swimming as it is not fully waterproof. The home button on the iPhone 7 is also not really a button. It detects how firmly it has been pressed and will provide vibration feedback to unlock the phone. The Plus version has two lenses on the camera (one telephoto and one wide angle) which means that it will have better depth-of-field by separating the backgroud and foreground as well as better performance in low-light situations which is also a welcome addition.

Apple then moved onto the biggest rumour being addressed: have Apple jacked in the headphone socket? (Pardon the pun) Well, yes. They have. To solve this, alongside a bundled pair of lightning-equipped earbuds, Apple have released wireless earphones known as AirPods. They come in a case which is used to charge the earphones as well as making the bluetooth pairing process a breeze. The earphones will sense when you are listening so they can control the playback of the music, they will switch between different devices and switch from a call on an iPhone to listening to music on an Apple Watch. If one earphone is removed, it will automatically resume play in that one earphone when it is put back. This all seems really cool but it comes with a price tag of £150 (and the likelihood of losing them is still pretty high)!

Alongside all of the shiny new products came confirmation of the release of iOS 10 which is mentioned further down this blog post. So even if the iPhone 7 has not turned your head, there is still something new.

So to conclude the event, Apple showed off their improvements to current products and, in true Cupertino style, push the boundaries of how we interact with our devices. Will this all be enough to keep them at the forefront of the smartphone battle? That is yet to be seen. One thing we do know though is that we expect new gadget envy to be at an all time high.

(Below is the typically cool round-up video Apple created after their event.)

In the last fortnight, both iOS 10 and Mac OS Sierra were released. For iPhones, iPads, iPods and Macs, there were a number of changes welcomed as everything has been made a little easier and a little more personal.

iOS 10 was released on 13 September and Apple have made a lot of their changes to their stock apps.  From their website’s dedicated page and their event held earlier this month, there was a lot of emphasis made on their ‘Messages’ app.  It has been made more customisable for example, through the ability to change the way the message bubbles look to give more context to what is being typed as well as being able to write messages in your own handwriting.  You can now send messages with invisible ink so a photo or message will come up blurred and remains hidden until you swipe to reveal it.  Another cool feature to ‘Messages’, which surprised Justin in our office yesterday, was then when you send a message like “Happy Birthday!” or “Congratulations!” a confetti and balloons animation take over the whole screen. This seems similar to the updated Facebook messaging service with being able to send a football or basketball emoji to a friend and that then opening up a game where you shoot the ball into a net/hoop.  Other ideas from Facebook seem to have also been adapted to ‘Messages’ by introducing “Tapback” where you can reply to your latest received message with six sticker responses such as a thumbs up or a “!?”.  

‘Messages’ seem to have the most amount of changes as a result of iOS 10, but many of the other stock apps have had improvements. ‘Maps’ has a different, simpler appearance with the ability to now take reservations on restaurants by linking apps like ‘OpenTable’ and get a ride easily with ‘Uber’, all accessible within the app. Whilst on the move, ‘Maps’ can make proactive suggestions for where to go and the fastest way to get there, as well as being able to search for the nearest service stations, breakfast places and coffee shops while travelling. Other apps that have been redesigned are ‘Music’ and ‘News’ so that they have a similar, simpler layout with more emphasis on recommendations for what you might like to engage with.

Further changes include Apple Pay being enabled on Safari so it is easier to pay through your phone without the hassle of inputting all of your details. The main lock screen also looks quite different with a different layout to notifications and being able to swipe right to access widgets for quick outlook on apps like ‘Calendar’, ‘Weather’ and even ‘Whatsapp’. There is also a new feature of the devices waking when you pick them up and then pressing the ‘Home’ button to unlock the phone with fingerprint detection (which is all much faster) rather than swiping or waiting for your fingerprint to be detected. Once the phone is unlocked, it also seems much faster moving from app to app, as well as more apps integrating 3D Touch shortcuts.

At Donkeylogic we’re all pretty pleased with the new changes to iOS 10. The appearance of it is not all that different, but different enough for us to be excited about it and for it to still seem novel.iphone7-svr-pf-2up_messages_pr-print

Moving on to the Mac update known as Sierra, there have not been as many changes as there were for iOS 10 but similarly, the changes that have been made were very welcome. Apple have put a lot of their emphasis on Macs now having Siri in the way that Microsoft have Cortana. Siri is defined to be “your personal assistant” and is “all about multitasking”. It can do the normal Siri things like finding a restaurant nearby, but can also find files by searching your documents and refine the results by having a certain word in the title. You can also ask Siri about trending topics in the news and other files which you can then pin in your Notification Centre so you can quickly be updated about news.

Another new feature which will definitely come in handy is the Universal Clipboard which allows you to copy images, videos and text from apps on your phone and then paste them into another app on your Mac (or vice versa). Not only copy and paste, you can also start an email on your computer and then finish when you’re on the move on your phone as well as log in to your Mac just by walking nearby whilst wearing your Apple Watch. There is also more continuity with iOS 10, as Apple Pay is also available on Macs too by linking your phone for security, it is now much quicker to checkout from websites thanks to Apple Pay and the thumbprint detection. Also, ‘Messages’ works in a similar way to iOS 10 with the various uses of stickers available as well as ‘iTunes’ having a similar layout to the ‘Music’ app on iPhones. ‘Pages’ has been updated too so that it is easy to flip between documents because of the tabs that can be used. It is also now much easier to watch a video whilst doing other things on your Mac because you can “tear” it off so it floats in any corner of the desktop, of any size, reaffirming that multitasking is central to the new Mac update.

 

We hope that you enjoy these new updates as much as we are!

 

All images belong to Apple.