Earlier this year, news leaked that Google was working on an Android Wear app for the iOS App Store, and it appears that the company's progress on engineering Android Wear devices to work with iPhones is nearing completion.
According to a source that spoke to The Verge, Android Wear on the iPhone works similarly to the Apple Watch, connecting through a companion app and providing functions like Notifications. Google is said to be "close to finishing" the final technical details behind the project.
An LG G Watch R with FaceTime notification from iOS, via The Verge
In its current state of development, Android Wear works along with a companion app on the iPhone and supports basic functions like notifications -- as you can see in the photo below. As it does on Android, on the iPhone Android Wear also supports Google Now's ambient information cards, voice search, and other voice actions. It should also support some more advanced features with Google's own iOS apps, like replying to Gmail messages.
If Google finishes the project and submits its Android Wear app to the iOS App Store, it is not clear how Apple will react, given that the app would allow Android Wear devices to compete directly with the Apple Watch. Apple allows Pebble and other competing fitness bands to have apps in the App Store, so it may also permit Google to release an Android Wear app, but at the same time, Apple has aggressively cut down on products similar to the Apple Watch in its retail stores.
It no longer sells fitness devices like the Fitbit, the Jawbone UP, and the Nike Fuelband, and over the years, Apple has also had some altercations with Google. Apple used to feature Google Maps on its iOS devices, but moved on to its own proprietary mapping solution several years ago.
Android Wear watches are built on Google's platform but are available from a number of Apple's competitors, including Samsung and LG. Popular smartwatches like the LG G, the Moto 360, and Samsung's Gear lineup are all Android Wear devices.
There is no word on when Google might release an iOS app capable of officially connecting Android Wear devices to iPhones, but it's possible an announcement could come during the company's I/O developer conference in late May.
Following the release of iOS 8.3 for iPhone and iPad on Wednesday, many users have turned to theApple Support Communities, Reddit andMacRumors discussion forums about Touch ID not working in the App Store on the latest software version. The issue affects multiple iPhone and iPad models, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2, although the bug does not appear to affect all users.
"I just updated to iOS 8.3 and it completely removed my ability to use Touch ID in the App Store on my iPhone 6," a post on Reddit reads. "It asks for my password for each and every purchase. Is anyone else seeing this? The option to use Touch ID in the App Store is on. I have already tried turning it off and on again to re-enter my password."
The bug persists for many regardless of whether Touch ID is listed as enabled for purchases under Settings > iTunes & App Store, and there does not appear to be a proper solution for the problem yet. Apple may be forced to resolve the bug through a minor point update such as iOS 8.3.1, as it has done in the past with iOS 8.0.2 when the original iOS 8.0.1 update broke Touch ID and Wi-Fi entirely.
Fortunately, the lack of Touch ID within the App Store is mainly an inconvenience at this point for affected users, rather than a serious security issue. iPhone and iPad users will still be prompted to enter their Apple ID password when purchasing apps from the App Store, which was standard functionality before Touch ID was released on the iPhone 5s. Apple has yet to provide comment on the matter.
Apple today released iOS 8.3, the third major update to iOS 8. Seeded to developers in February and to public beta testers in mid-March, iOS 8.3 brings several new features and design tweaks to the operating system.
iOS 8.3 is available immediately as an over-the-air download. Xcode 6.3 is also available, as is a 7.2 update for the Apple TV and a 1.2 update for Swift, Apple's programming language.
iOS 8.3 has a heavy focus on emoji improvements, bringing an updated emoji picker that organizes emoji into categories in an easily scrollable list, new diversified emoji with expanded family options, and emoji skin tone modifiers for changing the look of people emoji. There are also several new flags and updated phone, computer, and watch emoji that now resemble the iPhone, iMac, and Apple Watch.
Other iOS 8.3 changes include wireless CarPlay, letting users connect their iPhones to their CarPlay systems sans Lightning cable, support for Google two-factor authentication that makes it possible to add Google accounts without the need for app specific passwords, and Apple Pay support for the China UnionPay network. On the iPhone 6 Plus, in landscape mode, there's now a bold/italics/underline key for formatting text. Previously, the key only allowed for bolding.
There are also minor changes to Passbook (dividing Apple Pay and Passes) and the Photos app (icon overlays for albums). Siri has gained new languages plus the ability to make calls using the iPhone's speakerphone, and in Messages, there's now an option to enable filtering to separate iMessages from friends from iMessages from Unknown Senders.
One of smaller but most notable UI changes includes an update to the space bar, which has been elongated to prevent users from hitting the period key in Safari when attempting to make a space. It's also now possible to turn on a setting to allow you to download free apps without the need to enter your password. We have a full list of the changes in iOS 8.3 in our iOS 8 Features Roundup.
iOS 8.3 also has a very long list of bug fixes, which we've added in below. There are multiple fixes to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, orientation, messages, and more.
Apple today launched a newly updated Siri website, which gives a comprehensive look at the voice assistant built into the company's iOS devices. The site opens with a quick overview of what Siri can do, and then provides users with a list of categories featuring Siri's different abilities: At a Glance, Staying in Touch, Getting Organized, Sports, Entertainment, Out and About, Getting Answers, and Tips and Tricks.
Talk to Siri as you would to a friend and it can help you get things done -- like sending messages, placing calls, or making dinner reservations. You can ask Siri to show you the Orion constellation or to flip a coin. Siri works hands-free, so you can ask it to show you the best route home and what your ETA is while driving. And it's connected to the world, working with Wikipedia, Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, Shazam, and other online services to get you even more answers. The more you use Siri, the more you'll realize how great it is. And just how much it can do for you.
Each category offers a look at the different commands that Siri can work with. "At a Glance" gives a quick rundown of a random assortment of questions that can be asked, like "When is the sunset in Paris?" and "What movies are playing today?" while other categories offer a more specific selection of available commands.
"Getting Organized," for example," includes commands specific to apps like Calendar and Reminders, such as "What does the rest of my day look like?" and "Remember to pick up dry cleaning next Friday." "Entertainment" includes commands like "Show me the trailer for Boyhood" and "Buy the latest season of Homeland."
Each of the pages offers a look at features many iOS users might not have known Siri was capable of, and they're organized in a compelling grid-like view that's easy to read and outfitted with pictures for visual appeal.
Apple previously had a site that offered information on Siri, but it was just a single page that offered more of an overview of what Siri can do rather than something more specific that drilled down into actual commands. The new Siri site offers a much deeper look at Siri's abilities.
Today's Siri website revamp follows the release of iOS 8.3 that added new Siri languages and the ability to make voice calls over the speakerphone using Siri. Apple has alsoadded new Siri features to several additional countries, making local search, directions, and more available in countries like Brazil, Denmark, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, and Turkey.
have surfaced on social media today that provide a first look at what could be the retail packaging for the Apple Watch and individual bands. Instagram user Jeremy Gan posted the photos to his profile, which he has since switched to private, this afternoon. The photos appear to show a 42mm stainless steel Apple Watch with Milanese Loop propped on a stand within its official packaging, alongside a brown leather band in a separate box.
It appears that the pictures were taken during the day in Daily Mail's offices at 51 Astor Place in New York City, and it's plausible to think the publication may have had the device on hand. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee the veracity of these photos, and it is entirely possible that the retail packaging is not official. A number of fake Apple Watches have already hit the streets, and this could very well be fake packaging to go along with the knockoff models.
The long, narrow box for the Apple Watch band in particular appears mostly consistent with a stock image that appeared on Apple's careers page last month, which at the time was speculated to be retail packaging for bands. The packaging in Apple's picture appears to be plastic, however, with a slightly tapered appearance, which is slightly different than the box pictured above. The photos should be treated with a proverbial grain of salt until if and when their authenticity can be confirmed.
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