Category Archives: iOS Devices

Support for 3x image assets found in latest iOS 8 beta ahead of larger display iPhone 6

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Developer James Thompson has found an interesting behavior in the latest iOS 8 beta, giving even more weight to the reports that indicate the iPhone 6 will feature a new resolution, featuring a new ‘pixel-tripling’ scaling factor of 3. In May, 9to5Mac first broke news of Apple testing a new screen resolution for an upcoming iPhone, which used a 3x screen scale for content.

The behavior is inconsistent, as iOS 8 beta 5 does not always load these 3x assets. However, it reliably chooses the 3x image on 2x devices using the ‘initWithContentsOfFile’ method. After seeing Thompson’s discovery, 9to5Mac has independently confirmed that this is indeed the case.

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The code used to replicate the behavior.

Using a set of test images with @1x, @2x and @3x suffixes, the code will always load the 3x asset, even though — per documentation — it should select the image for the current device’s screen scale. For clarity, each test image is numbered for which scale it represents. Thus, the number 3 in the iOS Simulator shows that iOS has selected the image suitable for a 3x screen scale.

To get an idea of the relative sharpness of 1x, 2x and 3x sizes, see the image above for a reasonable approximation. The difference is rather striking. The 1x image is extremely pixellated, the 2x has imperfections with curves but the 3x asset is perfectly smooth.

Moreover, the code path does not accept any arbitrary scale. Testing with other sizes, such as 4x or even 8x, does nothing. The routine specifically chooses 3x image assets. This suggests this behavior is not simply a bug, but is representative of upcoming iPhone features. The implementation of the API specifically looks for @3x assets only. This likely foreshadows what Apple is readying for its new iPhones.

Therefore, this is strong evidence that the next iPhone (or at least, an imminent iOS device) will use a screen with a 3x scale. Unfortunately, this does not help pinpoint a specific resolution, aside from reaffirm that the new iPhones will have significantly more pixels than found in the iPhone 5s. 9to5Mac has reported on Apple testing both 568×320 and 414×736 logical screen resolutions. At 3x, the actual screen resolution of the device would be 1704×960 or 1242×2208. For comparison, the screen resolution of an iPhone 5s is 1136×640.

Apple will announce its new iPhones at its press event on September 9th.


Filed under: Developers, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: 3x, Apps, iOS, iPhone 6

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Someone assembled their own iPhone 6 using leaked parts (Video)

iPhone 6 hands-on - YouTube 2014-08-29 13-12-42 2014-08-29 13-12-44

Following photos that surfaced this morning showing much more subtle antenna breaks on the back of a supposed production model iPhone 6, a video of a device based on the upcoming flagship has surfaced thanks to Feld & Volk, an association of designers and engineers who create luxury custom versions of Apple’s most popular handsets. But what’s interesting about this device is that it seems to actually be built from working parts, and can be seen booting and asking the user to connect to iTunes.

Although many will likely spread this video under the assumption that it’s a fully-working model of the iPhone 6, it’s worth noting that Feld & Volk don’t outright claim this to be the case (although they obviously want us to believe it works). To further prove that this is Feld & Volk’s own work and not simply a leak, we can see plainly that the device—while obviously built from leaked iPhone 6 parts—isn’t running iOS 8. Instead of the blue and white iTunes logo from iOS 7 (that you can see in both devices in the video), iOS 8 features a red/orange and white logo as seen below:

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It’s worth noting, however, that it may or may not be actually running iOS at all. When the device is plugged in, the screen comes to life and for a second you can see a gear on screen that doesn’t look familiar and definitely doesn’t appear when setting up any of the current iOS 7 devices. Futhermore, the cable graphic on the screen is located far above the home button indicating that they may not be using a full-size 4.7-inch screen, either.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.51.09 AM


Filed under: iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: built, custom, feld & volk, iPhone, iPhone 6, leak, parts

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‘Silver’ enables developers to use Swift to write Android and Windows Phone apps

Silver-Snake

RemObjects is using its experience with compilers to allow developers to use Apple’s Swift coding language for Android development. Previously, the company did something similar for C# and now the company is tackling Swift. Silver allows app makers to write in the Swift language (which is still in its infancy, really) but code against the API’s and frameworks of non-Apple platforms.

The software does not port Cocoa Touch over to Android, so it doesn’t help with write-once-run-anywhere dreams some people may have, but it does allow a development team to use just one language to write natively for both iOS and Android. The team have also made it work with .NET, so Windows Phone apps could also be written in Swift too, using the IDE (Visual Studio) Windows developers already use. For small teams, something like Silver makes the thought of writing for non-Apple systems much less daunting.

Silver will be available as a public preview soon. You can sign up on RemObjects’ website.


Filed under: iOS, iOS Devices

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“Thinner, brighter, lighter” – Samsung attack ads on Apple continue with anti-iPad NYers

Samsung’s series of attack ads on Apple continue with a video of supposed voxpops in which New Yorkers are shown both the iPad Air and Galaxy Tab S and asked to compare them. Would you believe it, everyone prefers the Samsung, even the guy with limited room in his purse … 

Those interviewed comment on the thinness of the Tab S, its lightness and its brighter screen. Yep, people on the street can pick up the two devices and detect a 0.9mm difference in depth and an 11g difference in weight, citing these as reasons to prefer the Samsung.

Samsung also promotes the Tab S as having “one million extra pixels” without mentioning that these are due to the widescreen format of the device.

Recent Apple attack ads by Samsung have included a Galaxy S5 phone ad in which iPhone owners are referred to as “wall-huggers,” nominating the iPhone to take the Ice Bucket Challenge and dismissing the larger screen of the upcoming iPhone 6.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, Galaxy Tab S, iPad, ipad air, iPhone, Samsung, Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Tab S

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Hands-on with the fully reversible Lightning to USB cable from Truffol (Video)

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Rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to release a new version of its Lightning to USB cable that would be reversible on both ends. Initially this cable was rumored to launch with the iPhone 6, but another report claims it will launch at a later date, possibly next year.

Third-party manufacturers have already taken advantage of the hype surrounding this rumored cable and put it into production. The result is exactly what you’d expect…

Truffol is one of the companies currently selling this reversible Lightning to Lightning cable and they were nice enough to send one out to examine. Of course, there’s not much that you can say about a cable, but having both ends of a cable reversible is very convenient.

The cable Truffol sent out works just like an Apple-branded solution, but it features a different USB connector that allows for it to be reversible. The USB end takes advantage of the “dead space” found on normal USB cables and replaces the inside of the connector with a thin plate. This plate has connection points on both sides of it enabling its reversibility.

Check out our hands-on video below:

Like I mentioned, there’s not much to say about this cable. Does it work? Yep. Will it hold up over time? Well, that’s hard to tell at the moment. It seems to be of the same quality as Apple’s official cable. It’s 3.3ft long and supports up to 2.4A of high-current charging for use with an iPhone, iPad, iPod nano, or iPod touch.

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Reversible USB compared to standard USB.

There’s no information regarding MFI certification on Truffol’s website, but we haven’t had any issues with the cable. Furthermore, iOS 7 did not present the usual warning message when using a non-certified cable. If you’d like to pick one up for yourself, check out Truffol’s website for pricing and availability. If you’d prefer to use your current Lightning cable for similar functionality, Amazon has USB to reversible USB adapters for sale.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, Lightning to USB, Lightning to USB cable, reversible USB, Truffol, USB cables, USB connector

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Apple announces special event for September 9th: ‘Wish we could say more’

Apple has just sent out press invites for its latest event, via The Loop, where the company is expected to announce the iPhone 6. The event is scheduled for 10 AM Pacific Time on September 9th. Atypically, Apple is holding the event at a new venue, the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino. This is the same venue that Apple introduced the original Mac, over 30 years ago. Apple has constructed a ‘three-story structure’ at the site, which may be used as the hands-on area after the presentation is over. Usually, Apple’s demo areas are only the size of a large room and do not span multiple floors.

Yesterday, Recode reported that Apple will also show off its new wrist wearable device (‘iWatch’) at the September 9th event. Unsurprisingly, the invite does not reveal specifics about what Apple will announce, bearing a rather bland image of the Apple logo coupled with the slogan ‘Wish we could say more’. Feel free to speculate what you think will be announced in the comments. A full screenshot of the email is after the break.

Image via MacRumors

Image via MacRumors

 

As shown by numerous part leaks, the iPhone 6 should come in two sizes, 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, although it is unclear whether the 5.5 inch version will be mentioned at the press event, as it is reportedly not set to launch for sometime after the 4.7 inch variant. The iPhone 6 models will feature a new A8 processor and come preloaded with iOS 8. Rumors of NFC — for some sort of mobile payments system — are also prevalent.

Details on the iWatch hardware are much more scarce. 9to5Mac has reported extensively on the device’s rich health and fitness capabilities, with Apple having hired many high-profile people for the project. In July, analyst Ming-Cho Kuo said that the iWatch will feature a flexible AMOLED display, although other reports about hardware specifics are hard to come by. Until Recode’s report yesterday, it was widely assumed that the iWatch would not debut until October.

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Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: 9to5Mac, Apple, event, invite, iOS, iPad, iPhone

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Android keyboard maker Minuum previews variable-height keyboard for iOS 8

e228a480-e440-4062-950a-c74a672d2526Minuum, which has existed on Android for a while now, has announced that it is bringing its custom keyboard  to the iPhone with iOS 8. Minuum is trying to stand out from the crowd with a particularly novel gimmick — you can change the height of the keyboard to save space or expand it to return to a familiar QWERTY layout.

In the mini-mode, keys bunch into groups of three. An autocorrection system then picks what word you meant to chose out of the possible options, similar to the word prediction systems of Fleksy and other custom keyboards.

How well applications will respond to the dynamically changing height is yet to be seen, as many apps in the store have been coded assuming fixed screen sizes. Over time, though, as developers update their apps, these issues should go away.

Minuum will be available soon after iOS 8 is released to the public. Interested users can sign up at their website. Below you can see Minuum’s iOS keyboard in action.

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Via TechCrunch


Filed under: iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: custom keyboard, iOS 8, minuum

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