iOS 11 now available for beta testers and developers

While watching the Apple September iPhone event, I got a notification that the iOS 11 is now available and it looks like the iOS 11 update will only be available to beta testers and developers as well, since the full iOS 11 version will be available on the 19th of September.

Here’s the release notes of iOS 11;

App Store

  • All-new App Store designed for discovering great apps and games everyday
  • New Today tab helps you discover new apps and games with stories, how-to guides, and more
  • New Games tab to find new games and see what’s most popular with top game charts
  • Dedicated Apps tab with top picks, dedicated app charts, and app categories
  • App pages include more video previews, Editors’ Choice badges, easier access to user ratings, and information about in-app purchases

Siri

  • New Siri voice is more natural and expressive
  • Translate English words and phrases into Chinese, French, German, Italian or Spanish (beta)
  • Siri suggestions based on your usage of Safari, News, Mail, and Messages
  • Works with notes apps to create to-do lists, notes and reminders
  • Works with banking apps for account transfer and balances
  • Works with apps that display QR codes
  • Hindi and Shanghainese dictation

Camera

  • Portrait mode now supports optical image stabilization, HDR and True Tone flash
  • Photos and videos will take up half the space with the new HEIF and HEVC image and video formats
  • Redesigned set of nine filters optimized for natural skin tones
  • Automatically identify and scan QR codes

Photos

  • Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure Live Photo effects
  • Mute, trim, or choose a new key photo for Live Photos
  • Memory Movies automatically adapt content for portrait and landscape orientation
  • More than a dozen new memory types including pets, babies, weddings, and sporting events
  • People album is more accurate and stays up to date across devices with iCloud Photo Library
  • Animated GIF support

Maps

  • Indoor maps for major airports and shopping centers
  • Lane guidance and speed limit information with Turn-by-turn directions
  • One-handed zoom with double tap and swipe
  • Interact with Flyover by moving your device

Do Not Disturb while Driving

  • Automatically silences notifications while driving and keeps iPhone silent and display off
  • Optional iMessage auto reply to alert selected contacts that you’re driving

New features designed for iPad

  • An all new Dock provides quick access to your favorite and recently used apps and can even be shown on top of active apps
    • Dock resizes so you can add all of your favorite apps
    • Recently used and Continuity apps are available on the right
  • Enhanced Slide Over and Split View
    • Apps can be easily started in Slide Over and Split View from the Dock
    • Slide Over and background apps now run simultaneously
    • Apps in Slide Over and Split View can now be placed on the left side of the screen
  • Drag and drop
    • Move text, images, and files between apps on iPad
    • Multi-Touch to move multiple items at the same time
    • Spring-loading to move content between apps
  • Markup
    • Markup works across documents, PDFs, webpages, photos and more
    • Instant markup anything in iOS – just place Apple Pencil on what you want to mark
    • Create a PDF and markup anything that can be printed
  • Notes
    • Instantly create a new note by tapping on Lock Screen with Apple Pencil
    • Inline drawing available by simply placing Apple Pencil in body of a note
    • Search handwritten text
    • Document scanner autocorrects for skewing and uses image filters to remove shadows
    • Table support to organize and display information
    • Pin important notes to the top of the list
  • Files
    • All-new Files app to browse, search and organize files
    • Works with iCloud Drive and 3rd party cloud file providers
    • Recents view for quick access to recently used files across all apps and cloud services
    • Create folders and sort files by name, date, size and tags

QuickType

  • Flick down on letter keys to enter numbers, symbols and punctuation marks on iPad
  • One-handed keyboard support on iPhon
  • New keyboards for Armenian, Azerbaijani, Belarusian, Georgian, Irish, Kannada, Malayalam, Maori, Odia, Swahili, and Welsh
  • English input on the 10-key Pinyin keyboard
  • English input on the Japanese Romaji keyboard

HomeKit

  • New accessory types including AirPlay 2 speakers, sprinklers and faucets
  • Expanded occupancy, time and accessory based triggers
  • QR code and tap to pair accessory setup support

Augmented Reality

  • Augmented reality technologies that apps from the App Store can use to deliver content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more

Machine Learning

  • Core machine learning technologies that apps from the App Store can use to deliver intelligent features with machine learning data processed on device for high performance and user privacy

Other features and improvements

  • Control Center redesign brings all controls on one page
  • Control Center custom controls including accessibility, guided access, magnifier, text size, screen recording and Wallet
  • Apple Music now helps you discover music with friends. Create a profile so friends can listen to playlists you’ve shared and see the music you listen to most
  • Apple News now includes Top Stories picked just for you, recommendations from Siri, the best videos of the day in Today View, and great stories selected by our editors in the new Spotlight tab
  • Automatic Setup signs you in to iCloud, Keychain, iTunes, App Store, iMessage, and FaceTime with your Apple ID
  • Automatic Setup restores device settings including language, region, network, keyboard preferences, places you frequently visit, how you talk to Siri, home and health data
  • Easily share access to your Wi-Fi networks
  • Storage optimization notifications and free up space in Settings for apps like Photos, Messages, and more
  • Emergency SOS calls emergency services based on your current location and automatically notifies emergency contacts, shares your location, and displays your Medical ID
  • FaceTime lets you capture Live Photos from the other person’s Mac or iPhone camera
    Easily check Flight status in Spotlight and Safari
  • Definitions, conversions and math support in Safari
  • Russian and English bilingual dictionary
  • Portuguese and English bilingual dictionary
  • Arabic system font support

Accessibility

  • VoiceOver descriptions support for images
  • VoiceOver tables and lists support in PDFs
  • Type to Siri support for basic search queries
  • Spoken and braille caption support for videos
  • Dynamic Type increases text and app UI to larger sizes
  • Redesigned Invert Colors make media content easier to view
  • Highlight Colors improvements in Speak Selection and Speak Screen
  • Switch Control typing can scan and type whole words at a time

iOS 11 is performance optimized for 64-bit apps. 32-bit apps will need to be updated by the app developer to work with this version of iOS.
Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas, for more information visit: https://www.apple.com/ios/feature-availability and https://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

Facebook tests ombré-colored comments

Shannon Liao, writing for The Verge;

Facebook is conducting a test right now to bring the rainbow to you. Currently, only a select few users can see the test, and it appears to only work on mobile. Colorful status updates first came to Facebook’s Android app last December, and Facebook recently adopted the feature on WhatsApp.

Not sure how to react to this news, except that Facebook is starting to look like the old Friendster or MySpace.

Twitter rolls-out Night mode for Twitter.com users

Night mode have been available on Twitter for iOS and Twitter for Android for more than a year now and I have been using it since it came out.

Here are steps on how to enable night mode on twitter.com;

To enable night mode via twitter.com, click on your profile photo, then select Night mode from the drop-down menu. To disable night mode, simply click on the Night mode setting again.

I’ve setup my profile to use the blue links and a black keyboard for my header photo, so the night mode compliments the theme of my profile.

UberFlash and UberTaxi launch in Malaysia

Leighton Cosseboom, writing for Tech in Asia;

Uber Malaysia introduced two new services today, UberFlash and UberTaxi, aiming to make it easier for Malaysians to use the ride-hailing app.

With UberTaxi, Malaysian taxi cabs will be available upon request via Uber. Meanwhile, UberFlash will connect riders to the driver closest to them, whether that is a private UberX car or a taxi on the e-hailing network.

Uber is launching these services inside Grab’s own backyard.

You can read Uber’s announcement here.

iOS 11 Public Beta 8

I was mistaken when I said that iOS 11 Public Beta 7 is “most likely be the last beta update that Apple will roll-out.” Since I got another notification to download the iOS 11 Public Beta 8, and checking with the other iOS Developers, Apple released the iOS 11 beta 9 for developers and it looks like there will be iOS 11 Public Beta 9 before the they (Apple) roll-out the GM version.

This is uncharted area for Apple, with regards to the number of beta that releases. The most number of betas that Apple released is for the iOS 10 beta 8 before they release the GM version.

Spotify now available in Thailand

Spotify;

Spotify, the world’s leading music streaming service, launches today in Thailand offering a revolutionary and unrivalled music experience tuned to your personal tastes.

With a worldwide community of more than 140 million people, Spotify offers both a free ad-supported music service and an upgraded ad-free subscription service. Users can listen for free or alternatively upgrade to Spotify Premium for only 129 Baht per month. Daily and weekly payment options are also available.

Boasting a vast catalogue of over 30 million songs all available to both free users and subscribers, Spotify comes to Thailand offering the very best in both local and international music.

Happy listening!

New malware masquerades as a ride-sharing app

John Biggs, reporting for TechCrunch;

An update to the venerable Faketoken.q Android malware has made it easier for the program to steal your credit card information from ride-sharing apps. Faketoken attacks Russian ride-sharing apps by overlaying text boxes on the credit card information pages that can capture your credit number and other important information.

You may want to read this article by Kaspersky on how “Faketoken.q,” tricks you into capturing your credit card information.

Facebook and Instagram get redesigns for readabilit

Josh Constine, writing for TechCrunch;

Taking inspiration from line drawings, Reddit and Messenger, Facebook is overhauling the design of the News Feed to make it more legible, clickable and commentable. Specifically, Facebook now makes it much clearer where threads start and end in comments. Meanwhile, Instagram today got a little redesign itself with comment reels now being threaded so you can have sub-conversations in public.

Most people won’t even notice these small changes on Instagram and Facebook.

LINE Introduces Livestreaming to Group Chats

Line;

LINE Corporation unveiled LINE 7.9.0 today, the latest version of the LINE messaging app for iPhone and Android, which now includes an in-chat livestreaming feature called “Chat Live.” Chat Live allows users to livestream video to other participants in group chats or other multi-person chats, in groups as large as 200 people.

A livestream can be started by tapping the telephone icon at the top of the chat room followed by the LIVE button. The screen size is adjustable, and can be played on the top of the screen, full-screen, at 1/8 size and at other settings. There are a variety of uses for this feature, such as chatting with friends while livestreaming a sporting event or chatting with grandparents while showing them their grandchildren.

Google is paying Apple billions per year to remain on the iPhone, Bernstein says

Todd Haselton, writing for CNBC;

Google is paying Apple billions of dollars to remain the default search engine on iPhones and iPads, Bernstein said in a note to investors on Monday.

The firm believes that Google will pay Apple about $3 billion this year, up from $1 billion just three years ago, and that Google’s licensing fees make up a large bulk of Apple’s services business.

Of course, Google will earn more than what they’re paid Apple in return. Just last quarter, the company reported a revenue of $26 billion.

So I’d say that $3 billion (a year) that they paid Apple is all worth it.

GoSPCE

GoSPCE allows guests to rent traditional and unique spaces for work and play. It also enables an end-to-end marketing and operations solution for hosts.

In a nutshell, its a service that connects (co-working) space and retail owners to guest and/or renters.

You can download their app from Google Play Store.

Facebook sneaks into China with a new app

Steven Millward, writing for Tech in Asia;

In a surprise move, Facebook has made and released an app just for China – where Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has been blocked since 2009.

Facebook’s China app, launched stealthily into the local app store under a company pseudonym, is a photo-sharing service called Colorful Balloons. The New York Times first spotted and reported on the app after verifying that it was indeed made by Facebook.

The Colorful Balloons app is actually a walled-off, China-only version of Facebook Moments, the spin-off app dedicated to photos that was first introduced mid-2015.

Sneaky!

Mozilla Firefox 55 now supports WebVR

Mozilla;

Today’s release brings innovative functionality, improvements to core browser performance, and more proof that we’re committed to making Firefox better than ever. New features include support for WebVR, making Firefox the first Windows desktop browser to support VR experiences. Performance changes include significantly faster startup times when restoring lots of tabs and settings that let users take greater control of our new multi-process architecture. We’ve also upgraded the address bar to make finding what you want easier, with search suggestions and the integration of our one-click search feature, and safer, by prioritizing the secure – https – version of sites when possible. Read what Nick Nguyen (VP, Firefox Product) has to say about Firefox 55, get historical perspective on the development of WebVR from Sean White (SVP, Emerging Technologies) in this Medium post, and read about all the new features for developers in Firefox 55 on Mozilla Hacks.

If you are already using Firefox, you can update by going to HELP then ABOUT FIREFOX or just go to https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/.

Uber rolls out Driver Profiles

Alyza Angeles, writing for Yugatech;

Basically, the new feature works just by simply tapping the photo of your driver to view his/her profile. From there, you can scroll down to see his/her achievements as well thank you notes from other riders. You can even chat your driver up and leave a thank you note after your ride.

When was the last time you saw the profile of a taxi driver?

This is just a small feature but it has a big effect on the service, which is what taxi operator needs to do. I expect Grab to follow suit or roll-out similar feature, if its not already available.

BASS app maps out if Globe or Smart is faster in your area

Abe Olandres, writing for Yugatech;

B.A.S.S. is a locally developed app for bandwidth and signal strength analyzer for mobile networks. It’s basically similar to the SpeedTest and OpenSignal app we’ve been using for years.

The main difference is that BASS specifically monitors the strength of the cellular signal and the speed of the mobile internet in the Philippines by collecting test results made by users.

From the app’s description;

Mobile app for crowd sourced volunteers to help measure the bandwidth and signal strength of carrier networks at given locations

The BASS is currently available for Android phone and can be downloaded here.

Pangga, on-demand companionship app, is now looking for partners

Joey Maceda, writing for Yugatech;

Do you have what it takes to be a great companion? You now have the chance to put those skills to work. Pangga, a new on-demand companionship service is now looking for partners.

From their website, this is how they describe their service.

Pangga is an app-based technology platform that enables single millennials to avail a companionship service in order to build a healthy self-esteem in todays “Me Me Me Generation”.

The word Pangga is a Visayan language is an endearment word that is used to address someone whom you love. it’s close equivalent in english is “dear”, “honey”, “sweetheart” or yeah…. “love”.

Interesting concept to say the least and there are a lot of ways this app can be use for “other things” other than what the founder/developer intended it to do. The app/service is targeting a specific group of people like tourists and the Philippines being a tourist destination the service has a lot of potential.

If you are interested in trying out the service, you can send your request to download the app here.

Apple just dropped iOS 11 beta 4 for developers

Romain Dillet, writing for TechCrunch;

Apple just released a new beta of iOS 11 ahead of the final iOS 11 release in September. Things are still quite rough and I wouldn’t recommend installing the beta on a production device just yet. You don’t want to risk having your phone become useless.

The beta 4 is only available if you’re a registered developer for now. While Apple also has a public beta program, the company usually waits a few days before releasing new developer betas in the public beta channel.

Developer Preview 4 now available, official Android O coming soon!

Google / Android;

As we put the finishing touches on the Android O platform, today we’re rolling out Developer Preview 4 to help you make sure your apps are ready.

This is the final preview before we launch the official Android O platform to consumers later this summer. Take this opportunity to wrap up your testing and publish your updates soon, to give users a smooth transition to Android O.

If you have a device that’s enrolled in the Android Beta Program, you’ll receive an update to Developer Preview 4 in the next few days. If you haven’t enrolled your device yet, just visit the Android Beta site to enroll and get the update.

You can go to http://www.android.com/beta to enroll and download the Android O Developer Preview 4 on your device.

iOS 11 brings powerful new features to iPhone and iPad this fall

Apple;

Apple today previewed iOS 11, a major update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, bringing new experiences and hundreds of features to iPhone and iPad this fall. iOS 11 is the biggest software release ever for iPad, with powerful multitasking features, the Files app and more ways to use Apple Pencil. Augmented reality is coming to hundreds of millions of iOS devices with a new platform for developers to build apps that let users place virtual content on top of real-world scenes. CoreML gives developers on-device machine learning capabilities so they can easily make apps that will predict, learn and become more intelligent. Additional features include the ability to pay friends using Apple Pay, Do Not Disturb while driving to help users stay more focused on the road, even more intelligence and a new voice for Siri and new professional capabilities to Photos and Camera. iOS 11 is available as a developer preview today and will be a free software update for iPhone and iPad this fall.

Introducing Face Filters and More on Instagram

Instagram;

Today, we’re introducing face filters in the camera, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining. Whether you’re sitting on the couch at home or you’re out and about, you can use face filters to express yourself and have playful conversations with friends.