iOS 9 and Mac OS X 10.11 details revealed

Yet again this week, Mark Gurman has revealed even more plans about what Apple has in store for their upcoming WWDC announcements as to the future of iOS and OS X:

For the first time in several years, Apple is changing up its annual iOS and OS X upgrade cycle by limiting new feature additions in favor of a “big focus on quality,” according to multiple sources familiar with the company’s operating system development plans. We first reported in February that iOS 9, codenamed “Monarch,” would heavily feature under-the-hood optimizations, and we’ve now learned that Apple is taking the same approach with OS X 10.11, codenamed “Gala.” Sources have revealed additional new details on how Apple will optimize the new operating systems for improved stability and performance, add several new security features, and make important changes to its Swift programming tools for developers…

I recommend the whole piece as it goes into detail of many of the new features. I’m really hoping this pans out. I’ll be curious to see how it runs on A5 devices. I hope it lives up to these rumors. 

iOS 9 to introduce transit directions

It seems Apple is readying transit directions for Apple Maps, to be announced during the iOS 9 event at WWDC.

9to5Mac reports:

The Transit directions service would allow iPhone users to navigate mass transit via the official Apple Maps application for the first time since Apple removed Google as iOS’s official provider of map data. Sources said last year that the transit functionality for Maps includes larger icons for users to more quickly spot airports, subway stations, and train stations within the Maps app. In addition to the main functionality, there is also a trip planning feature for transit, and a new Transit view alongside the existing Standard, Hybrid, and Satellite/Flyover views.

This would be very welcome news. This is the only big missing piece of maps on iPhone. Many people still judge Apple Maps based on its intial issues. I really think it has come a long way and the inclusion of public transportation options would be perfection.

iPad Pro, additional iOS 9 features:

Mark Gurman via 9to5Mac:

Facing slowing growth for the first time since the iPad’s 2010 debut, Apple is working on several significant software and hardware updates to reinvigorate the tablet over the next year. Apple is developing a dual-app viewing mode, 12-inch iPads codenamed “J98″ and “J99,” as well as support for multi-user logins, according to sources briefed on the plans. First planned for debut last year, the split-screen applications feature for the iPad could be introduced as soon as June at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, while multi-user login support and the 12-inch iPads will apparently arrive later…

June 8 can not come soon enough. Hope this all comes to pass.

Apple goes all in on San Fransico Font

Mark Gurman:

Apple is currently planning to use the new system font developed for the Apple Watch to refresh the looks of iPads, iPhones, and Macs running iOS 9 “Monarch” and OS X 10.11 “Gala,” according to sources with knowledge of the preparations. Current plans call for the Apple-designed San Francisco font to replace Helvetica Neue, which came to iOS 7 in 2013 and OS X Yosemite just last year, beginning with a June debut at WWDC… 

Good news. I love it on Apple Watch and think it’d be a great choice on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Hope this pans out. 

Apple releases new iPhone dock

Apple has released a new dock that now works with all lightning equipped iPhones, including iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It’s a curious time to release this dock, given that the next generation of iPhone(s) is right around the corner. Perhaps it took them more time than they expected to find the right design to accommodate more than one model. It’s little more than a protruding lightning port – there’s no “cradle” inlay. Perhaps, another reason for the late release is Apple subtly saying that their next “S” generation iPhones won’t be capable of wireless charging – just a thought though. I can’t wait to pick one up and see how it holds up.

If you are interested, you can order one right here on the store. 

Apple Watch OS Updated

Apple updated their Apple Watch OS today, which can be found in your Apple Watch companion app on iPhone (if you’re running iOS 8.2 to or greater). The update addresses of number of bugs and issues at some users were dealing with on the original software. It seems to be working very well on my watch. Siri definitely feels a lot faster, as do Glances. I even see that the updated the battery charging symbol to make it more prominent when first placed on the charger. 

To download the update, go into the companion app, go into general and software update and hit download. Ensure that your watch has at least 50% charge and that it is placed on the charger. Then hit install and you’re good to go – the whole process took about five minutes for me. 

Marco Arment reviews the new MacBook “One”

Very interesting review of the new MacBook (2015) by Marco Arment:

The MacBook just looks and feels like the obvious, no-brainer choice for a small Mac. That’s why people buy it. That’s why I bought it. I loved it before I bought it. I love looking at it and picking it up.

I just hate using it.

I hate typing on it, I hate the trackpad, it’s slower than I expected, the screen is noticeably blurry from non-native scaling to get reasonable screen space, and I don’t even find it very comfortable to use in my lap because it’s too small.

I hate returning things, but I’m returning this.

This is an interesting perspective, perhaps slightly more negative in tone than it intends to be, but a welcome (and reasonable) devil’s advocate view of the new machine. I have mixed feelings about the MacBook. I personally don’t think it is as bad as Marco seems to think, but I also would not actually buy one for every day use either. I agree the keyboard is very different and difficult to type on, however, I actually love the force trackpad. As always, it comes down to whether or not it serves your personal needs. Also, one day seems like a very small period of time to truly review something so different. Definitely an interesting read though.