Tags ios

Eddy Cue discusses the motivation behind Apple News and what the future holds

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.24.19 PM

Following his interviews centered around the new Apple TV, Apple’s SVP of software and services Eddy Cue has now sat down with CNN’s Brian Stelter to discuss the News app the company launched alongside iOS 9. In the interview, Cue and Stelter discuss a variety of points surrounding News, including Apple’s main goal with the app, the expansion to additional countries, and revenue sharing.

Cue stated that the main reason Apple created a pre-installed app for reading news is because it’s something “everyone uses everyday.” Cue elaborated that Apple only pre-installs apps that it thinks users want and will use on a daily basis.

“We’ve only created the apps that we think everyone uses every day… We really wanted to create a single app that all customers could go to, to read all their news — no matter what they are interested in, no matter what topics, no matter what publications they want to follow — and get that experience that they’re used to with our products, where it looks beautiful, it’s really easy to read and yet it provides all the content available around the world.”

When asked about revenue sharing between Apple and publishers, Cue explained that publishers can choose to sell their own ads and keep 100 percent of the revenue, or have Apple sell them, in which case Apple will take a 30 percent cut. Cue said Apple benefits from News by “creating a great application on our devices,” implying that the goal is not monetary in Apple’s eyes.

Cue also explained that by launching its own News app, it allows journalists to do what they do best and not have to worry about developing a standalone app. Specifically, Cue noted that News allows small publishers to share their stories with the world.

“I absolutely believe in that. It was one of our main goals when we were building Apple News. We thought of things from, you know, even church newsletters to a stamp club… A lot of those organizations today still print and mail, which is even more expensive.”

Stelter then asked Cue about expanding News to more countries, specifically China. The Apple executive revealed that the company is working on a version of the app that it hopes to launch in China soon, explaining that Apple has a great relationship with China and isn’t facing any hurdles in its expansion.

Cue explained that Apple is not looking to employ journalists at all, but rather build technologies and a platform on which journalists can share their writing.

“It’s not in our plans at all. Again, we try to focus on what we do really well. We build technologies and we know how to do that really well. We think there are great journalists around the world and we want to empower those journalists to get their content right to the customer.”

The video version of the interview can be seen below. Cue ends the interview by stating that Apple appreciates “great journalism more than rumors,” while going on to state that journalism is very important and that Apple wouldn’t “trade it for anything in the world.”


Filed under: iOS Tagged: Apple, apple news, Eddy Cue, news.app

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Chance Miller

December 1st



iOS 9 How-To: Put your iPhone in Low Power Mode & extend your battery life

iOS 9 battery

Have you ever wondered how much of your battery is being used? Or been in a quick pinch and you’re desperate to make your device last the whole day? Even though it’s at 18% and you won’t be able to access a charger for several hours?  Or have you ever wondered why sometimes when you use certain apps your battery dramatically drains? New in the iOS 9 Settings application is the ability to put your device in Low Power Mode.

Low Power Mode temporarily reduces power consumption until you can fully recharge your device. When it is turned on, the system notifications, mail fetch, background app refresh, automatic downloads and visual effects are reduced or turned off.

When you are using the device and have the battery get down to 20%, you’re iPhone pops up with a notification in the middle of whatever you are doing. The notification informs you that you have a low battery with 20% remaining, and suggests turning on Low Power Mode. To activate Low Power Mode, just tap on the option on the alert. Normally when the battery has less than 20% remaining, the color in the battery icon in the upper right hand corner is red. When you turn on Low Power Mode, the color in the battery icon is yellow to indicate reduced activity.

iOS 9 Low Battery Alert iOS 9 Selecting Low Power Mode

Alternatively, to manually put on Low Power Mode at any time, open up Settings and scroll down until you see Battery.

iOS 9 Settings Battery

Then you are able to turn on Low Power Mode by tapping on the white circle toggling to green.

iOS 9 Low Power Mode Settings

When you charge the device, Low Power Mode will automatically turn off when the battery gets sufficiently charged, usually around 80% charge.

Low Power Mode Turned Off Notification

With iOS 9, by default the Battery Percentage is turned off except when using Low Power Mode. For everyday usage, I recommend turning it on, as it will immediately give you a better representation of what your battery life is as opposed to the picture of the battery.

Here you also have some information about the battery, which is very similar to the battery settings in iOS 8. You will see a list of the apps and how much the app has used the battery. It will display the information for the past 24 hours as well as the last several days. This information can help you determine if you are constantly using certain apps or it could be due to background activity. Tapping on the clock icon next to the battery usage will break down the data even further, telling you how long the app has been on the screen, and how long it’s been running in the background. All the way down at the bottom shows the Time Since Last Full Charge. It shows you your Usage, how long you have actually been engaged with the device using the display and it will show you Standby, how long the device has been idle and not been used.

iOS 9 Battery app % usage iOS 9 Battery Usage Times iOS 9 Battery Time Since Last Full Charge

There are several different reasons why apps will use a lot of the battery:

  1. The app is being constantly used by you. In my example above, that is precisely the case with Tweetbot.
  2. The app is being used in the background. It could be downloading content, uploading content, using location services or streaming audio.
  3. The app is being used in an area with poor cellular service. When this happens, it puts more work on the battery and drains it quickly. If this happens, the Phone app will be listed and it will list low signal.
  4. The app is not working properly. For example the app can be constantly crashing. Or the app you barely use, but yet it is at the top of the list.
  5. The app is using AirPlay. The app is streaming audio to AirPlay speakers, or video to an Apple TV.

Now that you know how to turn on Low Power Mode and how to monitor your battery, your iPhone battery life should last longer.

Filed under: How-To, iOS Tagged: iOS, iOS 9, iPad, iPhone, IPod Touch

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Sarah Guarino

November 21st



How-To: Use iPad keyboard shortcuts in iOS 9 and work more efficiently (Cheat Sheet)

iPad Pro Magic Keyboard 16-9

Yesterday I mentioned a useful tip for using physical keyboards with iPads in my guide to unlocking the full potential of the iPad Pro. The tip actually works with all iOS 9 iPads connected to external keyboards over Bluetooth, Lightning, or the Smart Connector: hold Command (⌘) to see a list of supported keyboard shortcuts for the Home screen or app you’re in.

This works in most of Apple’s built-in apps and plenty of popular third-party apps as well, but it can be monotonous prompting that sheet in each app to get a sense of what keyboard shortcuts work. Instead, I’ve compiled a cheat sheet of which keyboard shortcuts work in all the system apps and several popular third-party apps. Whether you’re using Apple’s Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard, Logitech’s excellent K811, or any other physical keyboard, these will make you more efficient when working on your iPad.

Enter the shortcuts by holding down the ⌘ (command) and, if applicable, shift or option keys together, then hitting the letter, number, or symbol. So for ⌘ shift H, hold down ⌘ and shift, then hit H to execute the shortcut.

App Switching + Search

  • ⌘ shift H — Go to Home Screen
  • ⌘ space — Search
  • ⌘ tab — Switch App


  • ⌘ N — New Event
  • ⌘ F — Search
  • ⌘ T — Show Today
  • ⌘ R — Refresh Calendars
  • ⌘ 1 — Go to Day View
  • ⌘ 2 — Go to Week View
  • ⌘ 3 —  Go to Month View
  • ⌘ 4 — Go to Year View


  • Volume +/- to take a photo or start/stop a video recording


  • ⌘ N — Create a New Contact
  • ⌘ F — Search for a Contact


  • ⌘ R — Reply
  • ⌘ shift R — Reply All
  • ⌘ shift F — Forward
  • ⌘ shift J — Mark as Junk
  • ⌘ shift L — Flag
  • ⌘ shift U — Mark as Unread
  • ⌘ up arrow — Go to Previous Message
  • ⌘ down arrow — Go to Next Message
  • delete — Delete Message
  • ⌘ shift N — Get All New Mail
  • ⌘ option F — Mailbox Search
  • ⌘ N — New Message


  • ⌘ 1 — Switch to standard
  • ⌘ 2 — Switch to Transit
  • ⌘ 3 — Switch to Satellite
  • ⌘ F — Begin Search


  • return — Send
  • ⌘ N — New Message


  • ⌘ B — Bold
  • ⌘ I — Italics
  • ⌘ U — Underline
  • ⌘ option T — Title
  • ⌘ option H — Heading
  • ⌘ option B — Body
  • ⌘ option L — Checklist
  • ⌘ shift U — Mark as Checked
  • ⌘ N — New Note
  • ⌘ F — Find Note


  • ⌘ N — Create New Reminder
  • ⌘ control I — Show Reminder Details


  • ⌘ R — Reload Page
  • ⌘ [ — Back
  • ⌘ ] — Forward
  • ⌘ F — Find…
  • ⌘ L — Open Location…
  • ⌘ T — New Tab
  • ⌘ W — Close Tab
  • control shift tab — Show Previous Tab
  • control tab — Show Next Tab
  • control shift — Show All Tabs


  • ⌘ F — Find
  • ⌘ shift W — Show Word Count
  • ⌘ N — Create Document


  • ⌘ N — Create Presentation
  • ⌘ F — Find
  • ⌘ shift K — Add Comment
  • ⌘ option P — Play Slideshow
  • ⌘ option A — Show Transitions and Builds
  • ⌘ option N — Show Presenter Notes


  • ⌘ N — Create Spreadsheet
  • ⌘ F — Find
  • ⌘ option C — Copy Style
  • ⌘ shift N — Insert Sheet

You may discover that additional keyboard shortcuts you’re familiar with from the Mac also work, including ⌘ plus X/C/V for cut, copy, and paste, while some shortcuts within apps only work in certain parts of those apps. Several popular apps from the App Store also support external keyboard shortcuts. Just hold the Command ⌘ key for a few seconds in each app to find out, or try out shortcuts you know from other apps if you don’t see a list. Here are some examples from popular apps:

Facebook Messenger

  • ⌘ N — New Message
  • return — Line Break
  • ⌘ return — Send


  • left arrow — Previous
  • right arrow — Next
  • up arrow — Earlier
  • down arrow — Later
  • ⌘ return — Accept
  • esc — Cancel
  • ⌘ N — New Event
  • ⌘ S — Save
  • ⌘ delete — Delete
  • ⌘ F — Search
  • ⌘ R — Reminders
  • ⌘ I — Get Info
  • ⌘ , — Preferences
  • ⌘ shift F — Full Screen
  • ⌘ T — Go to Today
  • ⌘ K — Toggle Type

Google Chrome

  • ⌘ T — New Tab
  • ⌘ shift N — New Incognito Tab
  • ⌘ shift T — Reopened Closed Tab
  • ⌘ L — Open Location…
  • ⌘ W — Close Tab
  • ⌘ D — Bookmark This Page…
  • ⌘ F — Find in Page…
  • ⌘ R — Reload
  • ⌘ left arrow — Back
  • ⌘ right arrow — Forward
  • ⌘ Y — History
  • ⌘ shift . — Voice Search


  • ⌘ F — Search chat history
  • ⌘ option 1 — Chat tab
  • ⌘ option 2 — Info tab
  • ⌘ option 3 — Files tab
  • ⌘ option 4 — Links tab
  • esc — Dismiss

Microsoft Outlook

  • ⌘ up arrow — Select Previous Message
  • ⌘ down arrow — Select Next Message
  • ⌘ R — Reply
  • ⌘ shift R — Reply All
  • ⌘ J — Forward
  • ⌘ 1 — Switch to Mail
  • ⌘ 2 — Switch to Calendar
  • ⌘ 3 — Switch to Files
  • ⌘ 4 — Switch to People
  • ⌘ 5 — Switch to Settings
  • ⌘ N — Create New Message
  • ⌘ shift N — Create New Event


  • up arrow —Move Up
  • down arrow — Move Down
  • option up arrow — Jump to previous channel
  • option down arrow — Jump to next channel
  • option shift up arrow — Jump to previous unread channel
  • option shift down arrow — Jump to next unread channel
  • option ` — Toggle the channel list
  • ⌘ K — Show the Quick Switcher
  • ⌘ T — Show the Quick Switcher (two ways!)
  • ⌘ F — Perform a search
  • ⌘ W — Close window


  • ⌘ 1 — Timeline
  • ⌘ 2 — Mentions
  • ⌘ 3 — Messages
  • ⌘ 4 — Stats
  • ⌘ 5 — Search
  • ⌘ 6 — Faves
  • ⌘ 7 — Profile
  • ⌘ 8 — Lists
  • ⌘ 9 — Mutes
  • ⌘ N — Compose

Does your favorite app support keyboard shortcuts with iOS 9 on iPads? If you know about additional keyboard shortcuts hidden in iOS, let us know in the comments.

Filed under: How-To, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Bluetooth, Bluetooth keyboards, iPad, ipad air, iPad mini, iPad Pro, keyboard, keyboard shortcuts, shortcuts, Smart Connector, Smart Keyboard, Typing

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Zac Hall

November 20th



Review: Nanoleaf Ivy, a HomeKit lightbulb made from a foldable printed circuit board

The new Nanoleaf Smarter Kit with HomeKit support comes with a Smart Hub and two Nanoleaf Smart Ivy Light Bulbs to get you started. Like other popular connected lighting systems including the Philips Hue, you can purchase more bulbs individually once you’ve bought the Smarter Kit with the hub that allows a wirelesses connection for control from your iPhone or iPad and support for connecting up to 50 bulbs (the standard limitation among these types of products). But the Nanoleaf Ivy bulbs have a lot to offer in a package unlike anything else I’ve tested. The bulb is made entirely from a foldable printed circuit board with embedded LEDs…


Immediately noticeable is the unique design of the Nanoleaf. It’s made of a flat foldable printed circuit board that folds into an almost-lightbulb-shape with eleven flat sides where individual LEDs are mounted. It’s makes for a super futuristic look that I quite liked, and the hub too includes a Dodecahedron-inspired shape. It makes the Hue and others look like your Grandpa’s lightbulb, and likewise the hub’s design won’t make you want to hide it out of sight like the other guys’ bulbs. The build quality of the bulb itself overall feels solid, which is something I thought might not be the case due to the origami, puzzle-piece design with the printed circuit board. 

The all black color of the bulb and the design in general might be a bit too out of the ordinary for some, however, especially if you’re looking for bulbs that go into a fixture without a shade covering the bulbs. It’s certainly not a traditional look.

The company says the new Nanoleaf Ivy bulbs use around 7.5W to produce light equivalent to a 60W incandescent bulbs and will last up to 27 years. In my tests, using the bulb in the desk lamp pictured throughout this review, the light was blindingly bright at 100% and felt a lot brighter than a standard 60W incandescent bulb, but that’s certainly not a bad thing given you get full control over dimming (more on that below).

Setup is pretty standard, although it uses the Zigbee protocol, opposed to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and the hub will need a direct connection to your router using an included Ethernet cable. After you’ve screwed in the bulbs and connected the router, you can download the companion app for iPhone and iPad, hit a button on the hub to initiate the setup, scan a barcode on the hub, and follow a quick and easy configuration in the app.

Using Nanoleaf:

You essentially only get control over the brightness of the bulb, but the Nanoleaf Ivy has a few unique features mostly courtesy of HomeKit support. But even before getting into the app and HomeKit, the bulb has a unique dimming feature that doesn’t require HomeKit or the app. When on, a double tap of the on/off switch for the bulb will make it start dimming while another double tap will set it at the desired brightness. It’s a handy feature to quickly set the brightness in a room with Ivy bulbs without having to grab your phone.

The lights get 50m signal coverage, and in my tests didn’t prove to have any reliability issues like many of the Wi-Fi connected home automation products I’ve tested. Perhaps thanks to Zigbee.


And because of Zigbee, it also works with other competing bulb products including Philips Hue, Osram Lightify, GE Link and Cree Connected. so you easily integrate your current setup or expand with other bulbs in the future. And you’ll be able to use any HomeKit compatible app to control the bulbs.

Even with using Zigbee, the hub builds in the ability to talk with Apple’s HomeKit, its platform for allowing Siri voice commands to control home automation products. Apple allows rival platforms like Zigbee to communicate with HomeKit via a bridge, and Nanoleaf Ivy takes full advantage to offer all of HomeKit’s functionality…


Because the product supports Apple’s HomeKit platform, that means you get access to Siri voice controls and the ability to setup what Apple refers to as “Rooms” and “Scenes”. In fact, those are the only ways to control the Ivy bulb using your smartphone.

nanoleaf-app-01 nanoleaf-app-04 nanoleaf-app-03

The app doesn’t include much beyond HomeKit, but there is a virtual on/off button and brightness controls within the Rooms feature. Otherwise everything is done with Siri or the physical light switch connected to your bulb.

You can tell Siri to turn the lights on or off, set the brightness to a certain percentage (for example 100% or 10%), or you can ask it to initiate a Scene or Room. Scenes are setup for things like “Dinner” or “Movie Night” to automatically set lighting for a specific occasion, while Rooms allow you to group bulbs together to control a specific group of bulbs with a single command. You can view, setup, and initiate Rooms and Scenes from the app, but that’s it for the app.

nanoleaf-homekit-siri-01 nanoleaf-homekit-siri-03 nanoleaf-homekit-siri-04

The bare minimum app features, or rather the reliance on HomeKit, would be more of an issue if HomeKit wasn’t in my experience typically the better way of controlling these products. And it’s also easy to get features you’re looking for through another third-party HomeKit app, while the Smarter Kit’s firmware is upgradeable and will likely see additional features added in the future (Android support is planned).

You’ll be able to control the bulbs when out of your house, but keep in mind HomeKit requires an Apple TV for remote control access.

Should you buy it?

The company doesn’t have a color adjustable bulb yet (which means you can’t get that super warm amber glow that some like), and that’s probably the biggest downside of the Ivy. But in my use cases the full control over dimming from 1% through 100% is enough to set the mood in most situations.

The company originally launched on Indiegogo in October and surpassed its goal of raising $40,000. This week it’s officially launching with the first orders being shipped to preorder customers and the new Nanoleaf Smarter Kit going up for sale at retailers and online.

The Nanoleaf Ivy is by far the most interesting connected, HomeKit lightbulb I’ve had in for review, and at $99 for the Smarter Kit ($24.99 for individual Ivy bulbs after that), it’s competitively priced with its boring competitors. 

Grab the $99 Nanoleaf Smarter Kit  from Amazon for $99 now.

Filed under: HomeKit, iOS, Reviews Tagged: foldable printed circuit board, homekit, Hue, Ivy, nanoleaf, review, ZigBee

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Jordan Kahn

November 20th



What It’s Like To Use the iPad Pro As a Laptop

I don’t like laptops. There, I said it. I don’t hate them, but for years I’ve felt they can be improved in many different ways. So when Apple made the iPad Pro, I paid attention. Could this be the product I’d been dreaming of all this time? The short answer: No. The long answer: Also no. But it does have a few surprises.


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Carlos Rebato

November 20th


Feature Request: Automatically activate emergency features on making a 911 call

911 2-1

We reported recently on an Apple patent application for a ‘panic mode‘ on an iPhone, where using a specific finger on the Touch ID sensor could do anything from locking down the phone to calling 911 and starting audio and video recording.

There are pros & cons to the idea, of course, with one 911 operator saying that a similar Blackberry function has resulted in “thousands and thousands” of false emergency calls, each of which have to be treated as real calls for help until demonstrated otherwise.

But if we waited until someone manually dialled 911, it seems to me that there’s merit in some of the other ideas … 

For example, witnessing an accident or crime in progress can be a traumatic experience, and it’s not unusual for callers to be unable to provide an accurate location. Some provide only very vague locations – “somewhere on Main Street” – while others give the wrong location, each of which delays an emergency response.

If calling 911 automatically put a Speak Location button on the screen, you could press that button when asked for your location and have Siri tell the operator where you are, exactly as if you’d asked it ‘Where am I?’.

Interestingly, a note in AT&T’s Wi-Fi Calling service suggests that some 911 centers appear to have the capability to obtain your location electronically.


Similarly, audio and video evidence of a crime can greatly increase the likelihood of a successful prosecution. On ending a 911 call, the iPhone could ping and put a Start Video Recording button on the screen to prompt you to capture video. It would be sensible to put a prominent notice on that screen to record only if it doesn’t put you at risk.

Finally, in the case of a major incident, where it can be reassuring to let family and friends know that you’re safe, perhaps the iPhone could automatically identify those in the affected area and bring up a prompt to use a feature like Facebook’s Safety Check or pre-populate a text message with a ‘Just letting you know I’m ok’ message?

Do you think these features would be useful? Or have any other thoughts on 911-related functionality? Let us know in the comments.

Filed under: Feature Request Tagged: 911, Emergency, Feature Request, iOS, iPhone, Panic button

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Ben Lovejoy

November 20th



How-To: Unlock iPad Pro’s full potential w/ iOS 9 features, third-party apps, much more


If you haven’t mastered iOS 9 and all its new tricks introduced in September, then it’s easy to find yourself using the iPad Pro as just a jumbo iPad Air or iPad mini. But new multitasking features like Picture in Picture, Split View, and Slide Over transform the iPad Pro experience and shine on the larger display if you know how to use them and which apps work. And while the iPad Pro doesn’t have 3D Touch like new iPhones, there’s a similar keyboard cursor gesture to now about. All that plus much more on unlocking the full potential of the iPad Pro below:

Before we dive in, many of these tips will apply to all iPads with iOS 9 while other features are limited to iPad mini 4 (7.9″), iPad Air 2 (9.7″), and iPad Pro (12.9″). If you’re comfortable with the bigger display of the Pro, however, it is able to present the most amount of content at once when multitasking.

Newly available in iOS 9, iPads support three multitasking features: Split View, Slide Over, and Picture in Picture. Not all features are available on all iPads however, and each works best on iPad Pro unless the display size is a deal breaker for you.

Picture in Picture

None of the new multitasking features are obvious, but Picture in Picture is the easiest to stumble upon. Play a video in a supported app, then press the Home button to leave the app and your video shrinks into a mini player and doesn’t stop. There’s also a new “two boxes and an arrow” icon on video players that support PIP. Tap it to continue watching your video within that app, or leave the app and take your video with you.

PIP off screen

The Picture in Picture window follows you from app to app until you disable it, only going out of focus when you double click the Home button or swipe up with four fingers to switch apps. You can move the PIP around the iPad’s display, although it’s limited to the four corners for now. Activating the on-screen keyboard will push the PIP up so you can type, and you can even tuck the PIP out of view temporarily by pushing it off screen.

Picture in Picture

Tap the PIP at any point to view playback progress along the bottom, switch back to full screen, play/pause the video, or close it. You can also pinch to shrink or expand the size of the PIP, and the iPad Pro supports the largest version of any iPads.

Picture in Picture works on iPad ProiPad Air or later, and iPad mini 2 or later. The only hitch here is that video apps have to opt-in to support it. Built-in apps like Safari, Videos for iTunes movies and TV shows, FaceTime, and Podcasts just work, but your own videos in Photos and music videos from Apple Music won’t. Third-party apps like HBO NOW and Hulu are my favorites to use for Picture in Picture. Netflix and YouTube haven’t added support yet, but YouPlayer and Go Picture in Picture enable YouTube PIP on iPads with different approaches.

Split Screen PIP

Split View is where iPad Pro really shines, and Picture in Picture works on top here too. This feature lets you run two apps side by side, and some apps actually look better as columns rather than full width apps on the big screen (like Twitter for example). You likely won’t activate Split View by accident though because the mode is hidden behind a screen gesture.

Slide Over

To activate it, swipe left from just right of edge of the display. A scrolling list of app icon tiles lets you pick which app you want to access. Tap the one you want to enter a mode called Slide Over. This presents supported apps over any other app and allows you to quickly use the secondary app then dismiss it.

Split View

If you want to use two apps side by side and both apps support Split View, you’ll notice a divider that you can pull a little to make both apps active. Use the secondary app in a 1/5th column view, pull it to the center to split the screen in half, pull it all the way to the right to dismiss it, or all the way to the right to let the secondary app take over the whole display. This works in portrait mode with 2/3rd and 1/3rd apps as well.

Split View switcher

There’s also a grab bar at the top of the secondary app on the right that lets you switch to other Split View apps. If you click the Home button and open another app that supports Split View, you’ll notice the app one the right remains.

Alternatively, you can use iOS’s four-finger gesture to swipe between apps to change the left app without losing focus of the right app. Apps that don’t support Split View like Settings and Music will take over the whole display, but swipe on to Safari or other supported apps and Split View will return. It’s a pretty quick transition with the swipe gesture.

Slide Over works with the same iPads as Picture in Picture: iPad ProiPad Air or later, and iPad mini 2 or later. Split View requires iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, or iPad Pro.

iPad Pro cursor gesture

Several readers have asked about the lack of 3D Touch or Force Touch on the iPad Pro, especially one shortcut on the iPhone 6s in particular. Using the latest iPhones, you can press firmly over the keyboard to enter a trackpad-like mode for text selection and moving the cursor. This actually came to all iPads with iOS 9 in September and works extremely well on the iPad Pro, but it’s not super obvious until you learn it. Apple offers this set of instructions:

Turn your keyboard into a trackpad. Touch and hold the keyboard with two fingers until it turns light gray. Drag around the keyboard to position the insertion point. Lift, then touch and hold with two fingers to reveal the drag points. Move your fingers to select text. Tap with two fingers to select a word. Double-tap with two fingers to select a sentence. Tap three times with two fingers to select a paragraph.

While using the new iPad Pro on-screen keyboard, you may also encounter an annoying shift bug when trying to access the symbols above the new half-height num row. Basically holding the shift key and tapping a number key to access the above characters only works in search fields and mid-sentence where auto-capitalization isn’t activated. There’s a workaround for now, and using it has made me much more efficient at typing on the iPad Pro.

iPad keyboard shortcuts

Using a Bluetooth or Smart Connector keyboard instead? Here’s a tip: hold the Command (⌘) key for a few seconds in each of your favorite apps to see what keyboard shortcuts are supported. Not everything from the Mac is supported on iOS, but iOS 9 adds a lot of functionality here and developers of App Store apps are doing the same. I’ve enjoyed testing a Magic Keyboard with the iPad Pro. Both charge with Lightning and the function keys including screen brightness, volume, and media playback all work great.

IMG_0174 IMG_0180

The same thing works from the Home screen when using a physical keyboard. My most frequently used shortcuts? Command Shift H to return to the Home screen and Command Tab which activates an app switcher just like the Mac’s. You still need to touch the screen to complete a lot of tasks that could be tied to a keyboard shortcut, but these make using the iPad Pro and all iPads with a connected keyboard much faster.

iPad Pro settings

And if you’re using your iPad Pro or any iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard and a setup more like a laptop, you may want to change the display’s auto-lock time to something longer. By default, iPad displays will turn off after 2 minutes without interaction, which helps preserve battery life and increase security if you use a passcode. When using iPad Pro with a keyboard, however, I’ve noticed that I’m finding that 2 minutes is too aggressive. I’m currently trying out 5 minutes, which should be pretty reasonable, but you may consider 10 or 15 minutes better options if you’re reading a lot of content on the larger display without interacting with it. Only choose Never if you want to manually turn off the display with the on/off switch or by closing a Smart Cover or similar magnetic case.

iPad Pro Notes Pencil

The iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch display makes it ideal for using as a sketchpad, and Apple Pencil’s reliable palm rejection and minimal latency take the frustration out of using a digital stylus. So once you get your hands on an Apple Pencil, what next? Apple Notes is a great start. It’s built-in, syncs with iCloud to your iPhone and Mac and the web, and its pencil and pen tools are very realistic. Try the pressure sensitivity with the pen tool, then try shading with the pencil tool like a real pencil. While you can use Apple Pencil to draw anywhere sketching is supported on iOS, a number of apps have updated specifically for Apple Pencil including Adobe Sketch, Paper by 53, Pixelmator, and Procreate to name a few. Evernote and Notability have also updated for Apple Pencil if Apple Notes isn’t for you. Each app has a different set of tools within, so I recommend collecting a few. Apple Mail also supports sketching with its attachment markup feature, though I wish it was more widely available.

iPad Pro gaming

Gaming on the big screen with real gaming controllers is one of the many appeals of the new Apple TV, but the iPad Pro definitely holds its own in this space too. The same MFi gaming controllers that you buy for Apple TV, like the SteelSeries Nimbus (hands-on here) and others, will work with iPad Pro so you can buy one and use it on both screens. Throw on a pair of Bluetooth headphones and you’ve got a very immersive and portable experience without all the wires. Asphalt 8, a racing title, has been my favorite to play so far, and your progress is saved from iPhone to iPad to Apple TV. Even better, the iPad can do Picture in Picture over many games including Asphalt 8, so you can catch up on The Daily Show while racing around a track at 200 mph like a real iPad pro.

iPad Pro dock

The iPad Pro doesn’t change the overall layout of the larger Home screen — instead keeping the same 5×4 grid as the iPad mini and iPad Air and revealing more wallpaper. If you’re like me and using the iPad Pro primarily in landscape orientation for the first time, you may want to throw one or two extra apps or folders on your dock. Smaller iPads can also add up to 6 icons to the dock, but I’ve always keep just 4 to match the portrait layout. Portrait is secondary to me on iPad Pro, however, so I’m using 5 apps in the dock now to match the landscape layout.

Photo Uploader

And if you’re planning on replacing a laptop with the iPad Pro, knowing about Safari’s ability to upload various types of files will likely be very useful. Apps tend to be able to do more than websites on iPhones and iPads, but if you prefer to use Facebook’s website until they update their iPad Pro app to support the full screen resolution, you can still upload photos directly from your iPad just like from a MacBook. This actually works better than through the app in my experience as it uses the updated Photos picker.

Safari documents

Uploading isn’t limited to just photos and certainly not limited to Facebook. The same process works with more complicated websites like Dropbox using text files and PDFs, although other file types like Pages documents and Pixelmator projects weren’t supported. You can actually upload files from Dropbox through the iOS app to Dropbox on the web with Safari using this process, or access your photo library, iCloud Drive, or other supported services.

Have any other iPad Pro user tips to fully unlock the potential of the larger tablet? Please let us know in the comments below!

Filed under: How-To, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: iOS 9, iPad Pro

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Zac Hall

November 19th



Adele won’t be sharing her upcoming album ’25’ with Apple Music subscribers


Adele’s people have already tried to get her new blockbuster album, 25, into Apple Store retail shelves as physical CD volumes with no success, but she isn’t so keen on Apple Music streaming. According to the New York Times, Adele’s management has informed digital music distributors that 25 will not be offered for streaming, at least at launch. You can of course buy the album on the iTunes Store; preorders are up now.

Taylor Swift famously keeps her music away from most streaming services except for Apple Music, over an argument of artist revenues. Part of an independent label, XL Recordings, Adele has apparently personally decided that streaming is off the table. Other artists represented by the label appear in Apple Music so it’s not their typical policy to shun streaming music services.

It is likely that ’25’ will reach streaming services eventually but not being available on Apple Music at launch is a bit of a blow. Many had expected it to be a done deal with Apple heavily promoting Adele’s album online and on Beats 1 — host Zane Lowe aired a long interview with Adele on his Beats 1 show yesterday.

The new album is expected to beat recent industry records with estimated sales of 2.5 million copies in the opening week. The last album to achieve comparable figures dates back to 2004 when CD music sales were in their prime. The album’s leading track, Hello, is currently #2 in the iTunes Store singles chart.

Filed under: Apple Music, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Adele, Album, Streaming Music

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Benjamin Mayo

November 19th



Poll: Is Tim Cook right that a converged Mac and iPad would be too compromised a device?


Tim Cook has consistently spoken out against the possibility of converging iOS and OS X devices, most famously saying that “you can converge a toaster and refrigerator, but these things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.”

He repeated this line earlier this week, stating that Apple wants to make “the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world – and putting those two together would not achieve either.”

However, some of your comments suggest that not all of you agree, so we’ve adopted the suggestion of one commentator and posed the question … 

One suggestion that has been voiced by a number of people here and elsewhere is a single device that operates as a MacBook when it is used in clamshell mode, but with a detachable screen that switches to iOS to become an iPad.

One third-party company even goes so far as to offer a MacBook Pro tablet conversion, the Modbook Pro.

Assuming that Apple continued to make both MacBooks and iPads as well, should it add a converged device into the mix? Take the poll, and share your thoughts in the comments.

Filed under: iOS Devices, Mac Tagged: converged device, iOS, iPad MacBook, MacBook iPad, Modbook, OS X, poll

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Ben Lovejoy

November 19th



Our Favorite Android, iOS, and Windows Phone Apps of the Week

Next week is Thanksgiving, so this week’s apps include a few that will be fun or useful for groups–whether you’re delayed at the airport or sitting around the table after dinner.


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Leah Becerra

November 19th

December 2015
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