Categories
Apple Apps

Dark Sky Weather Gets a new Home

There are some apps that are absolutely stand out on iOS. A few come to come, including PCalc, Overcast, and Carrot, just to name a few. Another one is the Dark Sky app. Dark Sky has been purchased by Apple.

Today we have some important and exciting news to share: Dark Sky has joined Apple.

Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy.

There is no better place to accomplish these goals than at Apple. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.

What happens to our existing products?

iOS App

There will be no changes to Dark Sky for iOS at this time. It will continue to be available for purchase in the App Store.

Android and Wear OS App

The app will no longer be available for download. Service to existing users and subscribers will continue until July 1, 2020, at which point the app will be shut down. Subscribers who are still active at that time will receive a refund.

Website

Weather forecasts, maps, and embeds will continue until July 1, 2020. The website will remain active beyond that time in support of API and iOS App customers.

API

Our API service for existing customers is not changing today, but we will no longer accept new signups. The API will continue to function through the end of 2021.

As part of this transition, use of Dark Sky by Apple is subject to the Apple Privacy Policy, which can be found at apple.com/privacy.
Thank you!
To our customers, family and friends, we are grateful for your support over the past eight years. We look forward to continuing to build great products, so stay tuned…

The Dark Sky Team

Apple purchasing the Dark Sky app makes complete sense. The weather app that is currently available on iOS works, however, it has not seen that many additions in the past few years and has remained largely unchanged since it’s initial release of the iPhone.

The acquisition of the Dark Sky team can mean some significant improvements not only on iOS, but also on macOS where macOS could get its own weather app.

One of the reasons why users used Dark Sky was not only the design of the app, but also due to the privacy stance of Dark Sky. They did not need access or attempt to gather information. It is a loss for the independent app development community, but it will be a great asset for all iOS users overall.

Furthermore, the API will remain up until the end of 2021,, which is more than generous, but somewhat unsurprising because so many other places rely on the Dark Sky weather APIs. Those who have signed up will be able to continue to use them, but nobody else can sign up.

I really hope Apple maintains the API for others to use, even if there is a minor fee. It may only be a subset, of the APIs available within the Dark Sky app itself.

Source: Dark Sky

Categories
Apple

Apple Extends Deadlines for Developers

When Apple initially released iOS 13 and macOS Catalina, they had anticipated that they had provided developers enough time to comply with some requirements. These are:

  • Apps must be built with the iOS 13 SDK, and use a Storyboard for the launch screen
  • iPhone apps must support all iPhone screen sizes and iPad apps must support all iPad sizes
  • Apple Watch apps need to be built with the watchOS 6 SDK
  • Apps that support third-party sign-on services must also support Sign-In With Apple

Initially, Apple had wanted to have these in place by March 31st, 2020. However, due to Covid-19, many developers may not be able to accomplish this in the allotted time. Because of this, Apple has extended the deadline until June 30th, 2020.

If you are a developer, be sure to comply with these changes by June 30th, otherwise your app may get removed from the App Store.

Source: Apple Developer

Categories
Apple

Apple Releases Covid-19 App and Website

It should come no surprise that one of the biggest news items at the moment is the Covid-19 virus. Many people are currently in quarantine and have been practicing social distancing to help reduce the spread of the virus. There is a lot of information that is being shared by a variety of individuals that is false. Particularly during this time it is important to get the correct information

Today Apple, in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to produce a new Covid-19 app that is also available on the web at apple.com/covid19.

With the app, or website, you can begin answering questions about symptoms that you, or someone else, have had. Some of these questions include symptoms, travel, if the person lives with someone who has Covid-19, and related questions.

There are a couple of things to note. First, “Your answers will not be shared with Apple or the CDC without your permission”. This means that it is completely anonymous. The second item is

By using this tool, you agree to its terms and that Apple will not be liable for any harm relating to your use.

Recommendations provided by this tool do not constitute medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

Once you have finished the questionnaire, it will provide a recommendation, based upon your answers. One result that everyone should follow is:

You Should Practice Social Distancing

Help stop the spread. When outside the home, stay at least six feet away from other people, avoid groups, and only use public transit if necessary.

It is good to see Apple provide accurate and timely information.

Besides the app, Apple is helping in other ways, as outlined in a video by CEO Tim Cook.

Source: Apple

Categories
Apple MacBook Air

Apple Updates the MacBook Air and Mac mini

In addition to yesterday’s announcement of a new pair of iPad Pro models, there were two other updates, to the MacBook Air and the Mac mini. Let us start with the Mac mini, as it is the more minor of the updates.

Mac mini

The Mac mini got a minor bump in base storage. The $799 Mac mini now comes with 256GB of storage standard, and the $1099 model starts at 512GB of storage. No other changes were made to the Mac mini. Now, let us look at the MacBook Air.

Macbook Air

Apple updated the MacBook Air with a few new features. The first of these is a new lower price of $999 for the base model. This lower price will get you a 1.1GHz dual-core 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor, which means that the performance may be up to 2x, according to Apple. This can be configured with a 1.1GHz Core i5 or a 1.2GHz Core i7 processor.

Along with the updated processors, you will also get 256GB of storage; which is double the previous amount of 128GB. These are configurable up to 2TB of storage, if you need that much. The memory is a faster LPDDR4X. The previous models had LPDDR3 memory, so this memory difference is definitely part of the overall speed increase.

The next change is the fact that the MacBook Air can be connected to a 6K monitor up to a resolution of 6016-by-3384 at 60Hz. It is not likely that you will want to use the MacBook Air with a 6K monitor, but if you need to, you are able to do just that.

The last change is the biggest one, the keyboard. The previous MacBook Air used the “butterfly” keys, which could be problematic. The new keyboard is called the “Magic Keyboard”, and is similar to the keyboard on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. There is 1mm of travel instead of the 0.6mm of travel seen on the previous keyboard.

The MacBook Air is available for order now and will begin delivering next week.

Source: Apple

Categories
Apple iPad Pro

Apple Releases new iPad Pro

Today Apple unveiled a pair of new iPad Pro models, the 2nd Generation 11-inch iPad Pro and the 4th Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. These two models are the same with the exception of the physical size. Both models still support the 2nd Generation Apple Pencil.

Processor

The new iPad Pro models have A12Z Bionic Chip. This is a slightly modified version of the A12X, which was in the previous generation iPad Pros. The new processor has 8 graphics and CPU cores, instead of the 7 GPU, and 8 CPU cores that were present in the previous models. This means that graphics and processing should be even faster. To quote from the press release

The eight-core GPU in the A12Z Bionic, along with an enhanced thermal architecture and tuned performance controllers, gives iPad Pro the highest performance ever in an iPad. Combined with the eight-core CPU and the powerful Neural Engine, which enables next-generation apps

Until we get our hands on the new iPad Pro and put it through its paces, it will be hard to see the real world improvement. One area where there will definitely be improvement is with the cameras.

Cameras

The new iPad Pros have an all new redesigned cameras. They now include two cameras, as 12MP wide camera and 10MP ultra-wide camera, similar to the cameras on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. This means that you can now take wider pictures. This also means that there is a new physical capability, optical zoom out with the Ultra-wide camera. The new cameras also include 240fps recording on both cameras. The Ultra-wide camera is capable of recording at 60fps. There is one last new feature to the cameras and is new to iOS entirely, it is called a “LiDAR Sensor”.

LiDAR Sensor

Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR, “is used to determine distance by measuring how long it takes light to reach an object and reflect back…and opens up tremendous possibilities for augmented reality and beyond.” The LiDAR Sensor will be able to measure depth, which is absolutely necessary for Augmented Reality apps.

It will be interesting to see what App developers are able to accomplish with the new LiDAR Sensor.

Sound

The 1st Generation 11-inch iPad Pro and the 3rd Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro had four speakers for audio and would automatically adjust depending on the orientation. The new iPad Pros have that as well. However, the change with the new models is in the number of microphones. There were five microphones on the previous models, and there are on the new models but they are now “Studio Quality”, similar to the speakers in the 16-inch MacBook Pro. This should improve sound quality for your videos.

Magic Keyboard

The iPad is great with touch, however sometimes you need a physical keyboard to be able to handle the input. Previously, this can be accomplished using any Bluetooth keyboard or the Smart Keyboard Folio. There is a new option called the “Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro”. The Magic Keyboard is more than just a simple keyboard, but it is also an iPad Stand that can be adjusted to whatever viewing angle you need for your iPad Pro.

The Magic Keyboard for each model is significantly more than a regular case or stand. The 11-inch model is $299 and the 12.9-inch model is $349. Both will be available in May and will be available in over 30 languages, so you will be able to get the keyboard that is right for you.

One thing that should also be mentioned is that the Magic Keyboard will be compatible with the 1st Generation 11-inch iPad Pro as well as the 3rd Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

iOS 13.4

The new iPads come with iOS 13.4. iOS 13.4 brings a new feature that some might expect to never arrive, trackpad support. This is not the same as the accessibility pointer support that has been in iOS 13, up until now. You can now use a connected mouse or trackpad and a cursor will appear on the screen. It will only show up on screen when you are using the mouse or trackpad. Some developers will need to improve their applications in order to fully utilize the new cursor support.

Pricing

The iPad Pro models are available in the same size, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. models, and are available in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular models. What has changed is the price of all of the models, except for the base price.

The 11-inch iPad Pro is $799, $899, $1099, and $1299 respectively. For the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the prices are $999, $1099, $1299, and $1499. You can order the models today and they will be delivered starting on March 25th.

Source: Apple