Flexibits, the developers behind the popular Fantastical 2 calendar app for iOS and Mac, today released a teaser suggesting the app will be expanding to the Apple Watch in the near future. A new page on the Flexibits website reads "It's almost time" before transitioning over to the Apple Watch depicting a screenshot from the new app.
Little can be determined about the upcoming Apple Watch app from the screenshot, but it appears to have a clean design with a useful timeline-based calendar for tracking daily appointments and events. A Fantastical app for the Apple Watch will be a welcome addition, as Apple's own Calendar app is limited in functionality.
Fantastical 2 is one of the premiere Calendar replacements available on Mac and iOS, popular for its simple interface, Reminders integration, and its ability to parse event entries based on natural language input.
Flexibits has not given information on a specific date, but in a tweet, the company says the app is "almost here." As with all Apple Watch apps, the Fantastical app will be introduced through an update to the existing iPhone app.
Friday May 29, 2015 12:00 PM PDT by Marianne Schultz
For our next giveaway, we've partnered with Ztylus, a maker of smartphone cases with interchangeable accessory attachments. Ztylus is graciously offering one limited edition Rose Gold Camera Kit for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus that retails for $149.95.
The Ztylus Rose Gold Camera Kit consists of a full-coverage case and a 4-in-1 lens attachment. The case itself has a textured leather finish that features an integrated kickstand and a unique disc mount system for the lens attachment. The lens attachment contains a circular polarizer lens and fish eye, macro, and wide angle lenses that flip out into position over the iPhone's camera lens. Ztylus makes its attachments compatible with all of its other cases so that when you switch to a new phone, you only need a new case and can keep using the same attachments.
To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter your email address. Your email address will not be given to any third party and will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumorsFacebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.
This contest will run from today (May 29) at 12:00 pm Pacific time through 12:00 pm Pacific time on June 5. The winner will be chosen randomly on June 5 and will be contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address. The prize will be shipped to the winner for free.
Ztylus is also offering a coupon code to MacRumors readers that will take 25% off all purchases from the company's online store. Use code RUMORS25 at checkout at Ztylus to take advantage of this generous offer.
Friday May 29, 2015 6:26 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard
The iOS bug that was discovered earlier in the week and causes an iPhone to crash after receiving a specific string of symbols and characters, today expanded to both the Twitter and Snapchat iOS apps (via The Guardian). The bug not only crashes an iPhone, but causes the Messages app to repeatedly crash after being opened to anything other than the conversation in which the string of characters was located in.
Although the issue was known to be routed in banner notifications when it was discovered, thus opening a wide range of apps that could be hit by the malicious text, today's news confirms that third-party apps can successfully transfer the bug. In Twitter, any direct message or public mention that includes the string of characters will cause a recipient's phone, with notifications turned on for Twitter, to crash immediately. A similar situation occurs when sending text chat via the Snapchat app, permanently crashing an iPhone when the user goes to read the message.
As noted in the original story, and just last night confirmed by Apple, a temporary fix for the bug remains in place in which a user can use Siri to reply to the malicious message thread in order to prevent Messages from crashing every time it is opened. The company promises that they "will make a fix available in a software update," but a time frame for any such fix wasn't given. Given that third-party apps are now becoming affected without as clear of an easy fix, Apple will probably try to put that update out as soon as possible before more permanent damage befalls any users.
Thursday May 28, 2015 12:32 PM PDT by Joe Rossignol
Google has announced that Inbox by Gmail can now be used by everyone with no invitation required, and the search company has also updated the email app with Trip Bundles, Undo Send functionality on mobile, the option to select "Delete" as the default swiping action, custom signatures, suggested reminders and more.
Trip Bundles combine all of your emails about a trip, such as flight times and hotel reservation numbers, enabling you to view them instantly after opening Inbox. Google's screenshots below, for example, show a Trip Bundle for London that displays information for a flight from Austin to London, Hertz car rental from the airport and a weeklong hotel reservation at The Blue Hotel.
The latest version of Inbox improves upon many core features of the app, with new Undo Send functionality on mobile for retracting an email right after sending it in case you made a spelling mistake, contacted the wrong person or have second thoughts. Also new is the option to make "Delete" the default swiping action, custom signatures, suggested reminders and the ability to view HotelTonight or Eat24 reservations and food orders directly within Inbox.
Google last year debuted Google Cardboard, an inexpensive virtual reality platform that combined a cardboard mount and lens with a smartphone to create a virtual reality headset.
Up until today, Google Cardboard has only been available for Android users, but at its Google I/O event, Google announced a new Google Cardboard app for iOS. The new app lets the Cardboard system work with Apple's iPhones for the first time.
With a Cardboard viewer and an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus, the Cardboard app can be used to explore virtual environments, use a virtual kaleidoscope, view 3D objects in a virtual museum, and take hikes through cities around the world.
Google also announced a new version of Cardboard at its I/O event, which can accommodate phones as big as six inches. It also has a new activation "switch" that is constructed of cardboard instead of magnets, allowing it to work with all phones.
There are several third-party companies that have constructed Cardboard viewers based on Google's Cardboard specifications, which can be purchased at prices that start at $20. Google also provides instructions that let users make their own Cardboard headsets.
Google Cardboard can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
Thursday May 28, 2015 8:27 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard
A new report out of Apple's supply chain in Taiwan today claims that the next generation of iPhones - tentatively designated as the "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" - will both receive a version of Force Touch this year, according to Economic Daily News (via GforGames).
The supply chain source claimed to confirm that previous rumors regarding Force Touch's exclusivity on the iPhone 6s Plus were in fact true, for a time, before Apple scrapped the plan and decided to move forward with installing the haptic feedback technology on both 6s models this year. Taiwanese manufacturing and R&D company TPK is still reportedly taking on the task of providing Force Touch sensors for the new iPhones.
Force Touch has been rumored as a standout feature on the new iPhone models a few timesthroughout the first half of 2015, leading into the first public interaction with the technology first when the new 12-inch Retina MacBook launched and then when the Apple Watch began shipping late in April.
Just this week, a new report suggested that iOS 9 was created "to be Force Touch-ready," with Apple building the tools to create developer interest in using the technology within their apps. Given that the haptic feedback interaction allows a new form of communication with Apple's devices, the introduction of Force Touch into the iPhone ecosystem could bring about a big overhaul of iOS if it in fact turns out to be the expected middle-of-the-road "s" upgrade this year.
Rumors about the new iPhones have begun piling up as the year moves forward, with most agreeing the device will have an upgraded 12-megapixel camera, A9 processor with 2GB of RAM, a possible new color option in Rose Gold, but with a similar form factor to the current iPhone 6. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicts that Apple will defy tradition and unveil the new iPhone in August with a planned September launch date.
Related roundups: iPhone 6, iPhone 6s (2015) , Tag: Force Touch
Thursday May 28, 2015 6:00 AM PDT by Joe Rossignol
Todoist today announced the imminent release of Todoist for Apple Watch, which should be going live shortly pending App Store approval, after nearly four months of extensive testing and development. The new app brings several task management features of Todoist for iPhone, iPad and Mac to the wrist, with a Glance view for quickly viewing tasks and a Main view that provides access to your Inbox, Today view, Projects, Filters and Labels.
Firmly pressing using Force Touch brings up an option to add tasks using the Apple Watch's built-in Voice Command dictation, and tasks can be categorized into the main Inbox, assigned to a project or given a timestamp of today, tomorrow or no date. Filters and labels provide additional layers of categorization for your to-do lists, with the latter requiring Todoist Premium for $33 per year.
Todoist for Apple Watch also features notifications for new comments on shared tasks, when you are invited to a new project, when you are near a certain location or at the exact date and time when a task is due. Tapping on a notification will bring you to the full app, where you can view or edit the task at hand.
Back in October, popular Mac image editing app Pixelmator was brought to iOS in the form of an iPad app, and as of today, that iOS app is being expanded to the iPhone. Pixelmator for iOS is now a universal app, giving iPhone users a way to edit their images with Pixelmator's powerful image editing tools for the first time.
iPhone support is an important step in Pixelmator's evolution and will let the company reach a much wider customer base. For many people, the iPhone has largely replaced point and shoot cameras. Image sharing site Flickr, for example, lists Apple's iPhones as the top three most popular cameras.
There are already a wealth of image editing apps available for the iPhone, but Pixelmator sets itself apart with a solid set of tools packaged in an accessible interface and iCloud interconnectivity with the Pixelmator Mac app.
Pixelmator for iPhone offers the same tools available in the iPad app, so those who have used the previous version of the app will be familiar with its capabilities. On the iPhone, Pixelmator's photo editing tools are likely to be the most useful, letting users adjust colors, fix lighting, add filters, crop, straighten, and distort photographs.
There are also powerful retouching tools that can be used to remove unwanted objects from images, much like in the Mac app. Tools have granular adjustments for making minor tweaks to the look of a photo, and there are brush-on effects in the "Retouch" menu that let users paint on image-correcting adjustments with a finger.
Pixelmator can also be used by artists and mobile designers to create original paintings, drawings, and compositions directly on the iPhone. It has support for more than 100 brushes and it includes a color picker and an eyedropper for managing colors. There's a smear tool for softening image edges, and a wet-painting feature for creating watercolor images. Pixelmator also includes support for words, shapes, and layers, with non-destructive layer styles and blending modes.
Like the previous iPad version, the new Pixelmator has support for iOS 8 features like iCloud Drive, Extensions, and Handoff. Images created on the iPhone will sync to the iPad and the Mac automatically, and it's also possible to begin an image on one device and switch over to another using Handoff. A Photos extension mades Pixelmator's editing tools available directly in the Photos app.
The iPhone app is being included in the existing Pixelmator app as an update, so all consumers who have previously purchased Pixelmator for iPad can download the new iPhone app at no charge.
In the video, an Apple Watch charging on a standard inductive charger is depicted next to one said to be charged through a power supply connected to the 6-pin port on the device. The watch being charged through the port charges slightly faster than the watch on an inductive charger, reaching a 95 percent charge at the same point the other watch reaches a 90 percent charge.
The team behind the Reserve Strap for the Apple Watch plans to use the port to create a band with a backup battery inside, allowing the Apple Watch to be charged while it's on the wrist. The product is still in the early stages of development, but it's available for pre-order for $250 from the company's website.
The Reserve Strap is not currently certified under Apple's recently released accessory program for the Apple Watch, which will allow manufacturers and accessory makers to create approved third-party bands for the device. Apple has outlined a specific set of rules for Apple Watch bands, preventing them from blocking any sensors on the device, but its guidelines do not mention bands that access the 6-pin port. For that reason, Apple's position on Reserve Strap's use of the 6-pin port is unclear.
Apple has not confirmed what purpose the 6-pin port serves, but speculation has suggested it is used by the company for diagnostic purposes. Apple may also be using the port internally for charging, as detailed in documents covering the function of its in-store Apple Watch displays.
It is not known if Apple has plans to expand the usage of the 6-pin port in the future, but TechCrunchhas hypothesized that the port could eventually be used for "smart band" accessories to bring additional functionality to the Apple Watch.
Every day the app updates with a new movie deal, ranging from "from blockbusters to acclaimed indies, and everything in between," at a discount which goes up to 70 percent off of the original price. To start off, the app is available only for iOS devices, but there are plans to expand to other app stores like Google Play. In addition to the basic daily discount, the app also lets users browse a movie's cast, check out other user reviews, and read a quick synopsis of the film.
Going live today in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France, the app's first discount is a $6.99 version of X-Men: First Class, originally $14.99. Every movie showcased within the new Fox app links back to the iTunes store, so anyone taking advantage of the daily sales will be able to build up their iTunes movie catalog at a cheaper rate than normal.
Although the company hasn't made any confirmation of the next few movies to be showcased, the app's screenshot carousel hints that films like Rio 2, Fight Club, and The Fault in Our Stars could be discounted in the coming weeks. Those interested can download Movie of the Day!for free right now on the App Store.
Bellabeat, a company focused on creating technology products designed for women, is today ready to launch its first wearable, the Leaf activity tracker. First announced last year, the Leaf is an activity tracker that looks more like a stylish piece of jewelry than a standard activity tracker from a company like Jawbone, Nike, or Fitbit.
The Bellabeat Leaf is, as the name suggests, a leaf-shaped activity-tracking wearable that can be positioned as a clip, necklace, or bracelet. Depending on where it's worn, it's advertised as being able to track metrics like activity level, sleep quality, stress level, and ovulation.
Described as a wearable "you'll actually want to wear," the standard leaf is made from a light maple-colored wood and accentuated with a steel leaf plate that's available in five designs. Bellabeat is also introducing a new limited edition gold version that's made from a dark marshwood and accompanied by a gold-plated leaf, plus the company is selling a range of bracelet and necklace accessories to pair with the Leaf.
The Leaf is designed to be worn all day, tracking activity, sleep, and stress. It works in conjunction with an upcoming Leaf app, which is able to track information on menstrual cycles to provide a complete picture of health. Leaf will also deliver vibration-based notifications on activity level throughout the day.
Receive real-time feedback in the form of slight vibrations, notifying you to increase or decrease your activity and reminding you about other aspects of your health, such as getting more sleep. The LEAF app even helps to monitor your monthly menstrual cycle by tracking expected days and providing information based on your activity, sleep and stress levels.
As you continue to use the LEAF, it becomes smarter by learning your personal habits and tailors feedback accordingly. The LEAF is truly unique in that it allows you to cross reference your cycle with trends in your daily activity, all easily viewable in your app.
Tracking activity and sleep is a function included in most smart wearables, but stress detection is relatively unique. When worn as a pendant or a brooch near the chest, the Leaf monitors breathing and uses that along with user-provided information as a metric to determine stress levels.
The Leaf ships with a necklace chain, but it can also be added to existing jewelery and paired with the aforementioned accessories Bellabeat plans to offer. It includes a standard watch battery, so there is no need to charge it on a daily basis, but the battery will need to be replaced after approximately six months.
Bellabeat previously accepted pre-orders for the standard edition of the Leaf, but those quickly sold out. Today's sales of the Leaf and the Limited Edition Leaf mark the official launch of the Leaf, which will begin shipping out to customers on June 15.
The Leaf and the Limited Edition Leaf can be purchased from the Bellabeat website beginning today. The standard Leaf is available for $119, while the limited Edition Leaf is available for $250.
Apple Watch tracks your movement and heart rate. It uses that information in conjunction with your gender, height, age, and weight to estimate how many calories you burn during daily movement, including light strolls and dedicated workouts.
However, Apple Watch needs proper calibration to get the most accurate reading of your movement and heart rate, which is used to help determine distance and pace measurements when you are walking or running without your iPhone, or while using a treadmill.
Calibration is fairly easy and takes about 20 minutes of exercise. For this purpose, you will need both your iPhone and your Apple Watch. After calibrating, you won't need to bring your iPhone on walks or runs anymore.
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