Wednesday Morning News
See that right there? That’s the purported volume/mute switch flex cable for the iPhone 6. It’s unknown whether the part comes from the 4.7 or 5.5-inch model, but what we do know is that this time around, the volume/mute switch are separate parts to the sleep/wake switch, possibly due to a relocation of the sleep/wake switch to the right edge thanks to the larger size of the upcoming iPhone. Also: hello, blurry cam, it’s been a while.
Apple are hiring Nuance engineers in order to replace the internals that power Siri, the personal assistant on iOS devices. A custom backend for Siri would enable faster and more accurate responses, and while we won’t see this change with iOS 8, it’s entirely within the realms of possibility such an update to Siri might not need an client-side iOS update anyway.
Forget apps getting access to Safari AutoFill credentials for a moment, as 1Password have demonstrated filling passwords in apps with your fingerprint. It’s exactly the kind of implementation I was hoping for — come up against the username/password fields, use the 1Password extension, which then prompts for your fingerprint to fill the username and password. 9to5Mac have a video of how it all works, and it’s actually a combination of two major iOS 8 features; extensions and Touch ID support in third party apps.
Speaking of security, Apple has rolled out two-factor authentication to the iCloud website. The web apps available from the iCloud web interface now require an extra code to be entered when two-factor auth is turned on, with the exception of Find My iPhone, which remains accessible without the additional code. But anyone who’s worked with two-factor auth can tell you how much of a pain it can be — Macworld says you can use an authenticator app or a one-time verification code to make it a little easier to live with.
Apple has announced an additional eight car manufacturers to its list of CarPlay partners, with companies like Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep, and Mazda joining the ones already on the list. What list, I hear you ask? Wired’s got you covered with all the manufacturers that have either signed up for Apple’s CarPlay or given their allegiances to Android’s Auto.
Recent updates to Apple’s Maps service are indicative of a big backend overhaul, writes AppleInsider, who say there are big plans to come regarding Apple Maps. API changes top the list of upcoming features, which should make things a little easier for developers wanting a little more from the location-based tools.
The colourful 16GB iPod touch that comes with a camera is now available worldwide. A cursory glance at the Australian Apple Online Store sees it at $249, with the 32GB and 64GB models coming in at $299 and $349, respectively. I’ve already asked about who’s buying iPods in the forums.
MacStories reviews Picturelife, a free photo management and storage service. The iOS app has just been redesigned, and Picturelife themselves have introduced a number of new storage tiers — but if Everpix and Loom have taught us anything, it’s that paid photo storage services usually go the way of the dodo. That’s not saying Picturelife will, of course; like Viticci I’ll be interested to see what Apple do with Photos in the cloud next year. In other iOS app news, the fantastic Textastic code editor is now 50% off for a limited time, bringing the price down to $5.99 for the iPad and iPhone.
New marketing material in Apple Stores are changing the mood from being focused around the products themselves to being what people can actually do with them. IfoApplStore says the new images look fairly similar to what you might see on a magazine or newspaper spread, showing the products in real-life situations.
I’ve generally though Apple’s ads to be pretty good, but their iPhone videos have been spot on lately. The iPhone videos showing off the various aspects of the device perfectly encapsulate the emotions that occur when you’re using a truly great app, but the interesting thing is, Apple’s in-house ads just aren’t scoring as high as their stuff from TWBA/Chiat/Day.