OS X 10.11.4 Beta Adds Live Photos Support for Messages

Alongside the iOS 9.3 beta seeded to developers earlier this week, Apple also provided an OS X 10.11.4 beta with some minor updates to the OS X El Capitan operating system. OS X 10.11.4 was overshadowed by all of the features introduced in iOS 9.3 so it’s taken a few days for people to dig into the release to find out what’s new.

One of the new additions to OS X 10.11.4 is improved Live Photos support in the Messages app. When Live Photos were introduced with the launch of the iPhone 6s, the only place to view them on a Mac was within the Mac Photos app. As of OS X 10.11.4, Live Photos can also be viewed directly in the Messages app on a Mac running the operating system update.

When a message containing a Live Photo is received on OS X 10.11.4, it will have the familiar concentric circles icon that marks a Live Photo. Clicking on a Live Photo will open up the mini photo viewer as is standard procedure with viewing any photo within Messages on a Mac, and in this view, the Live Photo will now play when the Live Photo icon is clicked.

The ability to view Live Photos directly within the Messages app is a useful change that makes it possible to see Live Photos content sent from friends and family without needing to open it up on an iOS device or save it to Photos on the Mac. In the future, Apple could expand Live Photos support even further, making them viewable in other apps like Mail, Safari, notes, and more.

For those unfamiliar with Live Photos, it’s an iPhone 6s feature that adds a hint of motion to still photos, not unlike the magical animated photos from the Harry Potter universe. Live Photos capture 3 seconds of video around a still image, which is played back when a photo is touched using a 3D Touch gesture on an iPhone 6s. Live Photos can only be taken with an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, but they can be viewed on any iOS device running iOS 9 or any Mac running OS X El Capitan.

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OS X 10.11.4 will likely come out alongside iOS 9.3, which Apple says will be released in the spring. As for other new features, the update also includes support for password protected notes in the Notes app.

Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan
Tags: Live Photos, OS X 10.11.4
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Twitter for Mac Gets Major Update With Revamped Design, New Features

Twitter for Mac today received its most significant upgrade since 2013, introducing a range of new features to bring the Mac app in line with the iOS and web experiences. Twitter for Mac 4.0 includes an updated design with improvements to icons, buttons, and interactions, and it brings a new dark theme to change the background from white to black.

Along with a new look, Twitter for Mac is gaining several new features like inline video playback, GIF support, Group Direct Messages, a mute option, and the ability to quote tweets. All of these features have previously been available within the Twitter iOS app and on the web. Today’s update also includes a new Today Center Widget for viewing Twitter highlights in the Apple Notification Center on the Mac.

Don’t call it a comeback!

Twitter for Mac is getting the update you’ve been asking for. Now it looks and feels more like the Twitter you carry with you everyday. We’ve built in some of the most-requested features so your Twitter for Mac experience combines what you love about Twitter with the elegance you expect on a Mac. Here’s what we’ve added:

– Inline video playback – You’ll see videos play directly in your feed.

– GIFs support – See animations without leaving your timeline.

– Group Direct Messages – Create and receive private notes with up to 50 people.

– Mute – Silence specific accounts so you no longer see them in your feed.

– Today Center Widget – Get your Twitter Highlights right on your desktop.

– Dark Theme – Now you can see the world in black or white.

– Updated design – Get the latest improvements to icons, buttons, and interactions.

– Quote Tweet – Add your two cents to any Retweet.

The Mac Twitter app received a minor update in August of 2015, but beyond that, the app has gone untouched since 2014. The last major version update ahead of today’s refresh was introduced in December of 2013.

Twitter for Mac can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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Deezer Announces CarPlay Support Available Today for Paid Listeners

Deezer Music has announced that its iOS app will be updated today with CarPlay support, making the streaming music service’s full catalog of 35 million songs available through Apple’s in-dash software platform. CarPlay support will be limited to Premium+ and Elite paid subscribers.

Deezer on CarPlay allows subscribers to listen to their favorite songs, albums, artists and playlists, choose a Mix channel based on their mood, use Flow to discover new music and hear favorites, access music in offline mode and more. Flow can be intuitively improved by using the Like and Dislike buttons on CarPlay.

CarPlay provides hands-free or eyes-free access to Maps, Phone, Messages, Music, Podcasts and other third-party apps including Spotify, Rdio, iHeartRadio, CBS Radio and MLB At Bat. The platform also uses Siri voice control and interfaces with your vehicle’s knobs, dials and buttons for safer access to common iPhone features.

CarPlay is or will soon be available in a wide range of 2016 U.S. vehicles from Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ferrari, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo. Apple lists over a dozen other committed CarPlay partners on its website.

The updated version of Deezer Music should be rolling out on the App Store later today. Deezer on CarPlay is compatible with iOS 7.1 and higher.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Deezer Music
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Sony splits PlayStation Messages into standalone app

Sony’s PlayStation app for mobile has always been something of a disaster, with a poor user interface and painfully slow performance. That’s still true today — but now you don’t have to use it when all you want to do is message friends on the PlayStation Network. In an effort to be a better messaging service, PlayStation […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Sony Releases ‘PlayStation Messages’ App for iOS

Shortly after its PlayStation Experience 2015 event in San Francisco this weekend, Sony has released a brand new app called PlayStation Messages, which allows PlayStation 4 owners to chat with their friends on the go. While the standard PlayStation app had built-in messaging functionality, it’s been split into its own app like how Facebook did with Facebook Messenger.

The app allows PlayStation Network users to send their friends text, voice and picture messages in addition to stickers of PlayStation game characters like Knack and Uncharted’s Nathan Drake. The app also allows for group messaging.

The standard PlayStation app was also updated today with the ability to follow verified users and the removal of the messaging functionality.

PlayStation Messages is a universal app that’s available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: PlayStation
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Apple Shares New ‘Ridiculously Powerful’ and ‘Hey Siri’ iPhone 6s Ads

Apple tonight shared two new iPhone 6s ads on its YouTube channel, highlighting the Hey Siri feature and the speed of the device at tasks like opening messages, browsing Safari, using Messages, playing games, and using the camera.

The first video, „Ridiculously Powerful,“ focuses on the speed of the iPhone’s A9 processor and shows it being used for Apple Pay, games, taking photos and video, and more. „Not much has changed, except it’s ridiculously powerful, which makes everything faster,“ says the opening narration.

The second video, „Hey Siri,“ focuses on the always-on Hey Siri feature of the iPhone 6s. With older iPhones, Hey Siri could only be activated when the iPhone was plugged in, but with the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, hands-free Siri voice activation is available at all times.

These two latest videos are part of Apple’s iPhone 6s „The only thing that’s changed is everything“ campaign, a tagline and concept Apple CEO Tim Cook first introduced when the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus debuted in September to highlight their revamped internals. Apple has released several advertisements using the wording, focusing on the iPhone’s camera, Siri, and 3D Touch.
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iOS 9.1 is here with new emoji, wallpapers, and more

A ton of new emoji have landed on iOS devices today with the public launch of iOS 9.1. Apple released iOS 9.1 this mornings to iOS users after five beta builds of the first big iOS 9 update were tested by developers. Among the new features include dozens of new emoji for everything from tacos, […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Flagship Apple Stores Outfitted With Interactive Tables to Highlight 3D Touch

Flagship Apple Stores in San Francisco and New York have been outfitted with new „Force Touch“ tables, which are designed to show off the new 3D Touch feature on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. In these retail locations, there’s a special table that houses iPhone 6s models.

When a 3D Touch force press gesture is used on the screen of one of the iPhones, which all display a fish, the table reacts to the pressure with a neat rippling water visual. The touch-enabled table can be seen in the video below from Grate App. (via 9to5Mac).

These tables are only in San Francisco and New York at the current time, but it’s possible Apple could install them in additional stores around the world as part of an iPhone 6s promotional effort. The fish theme of the table and iPhone duo is also used on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus boxes and in their live wallpapers.

Apple calls 3D Touch, the flagship feature of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the „next generation“ of Multi-Touch. 3D Touch enables new pressure based gestures, allowing users to „Peek“ at content link links in Messages or Mail with a light press and „Pop“ into that content with a longer press. 3D Touch also includes Quick Actions for accessing app content directly from a press on an app icon on the Home screen.



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Apple Seeds Fifth iOS 9.1 Beta to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of iOS 9.1 to registered developers and public beta testers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fourth iOS 9.1 beta and two weeks after releasing iOS 9.0.2, the second minor bug fix update to iOS.

The new iOS 9.1 beta is available as an over-the-air update and through Apple’s Developer Center.

iOS 9.1 offers new features and compatibility updates for upcoming Apple products like the new fourth-generation Apple TV and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The iPad Pro ships with two accessories, the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil, both of which are deeply integrated into the operating system.

The update includes Unicode 8, adding support for emoji like the taco, burrito, cheese wedge, middle finger, unicorn head, and more, along with a new Messages option in the Settings app, allowing users to disable photos for their contacts.

It is not yet known when iOS 9.1 will be released to the public, but it’s likely it will come in late October, coinciding with the launch of the new Apple TV. iOS 9.1 is required for setting up the new Apple TV through an iOS device.



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Apple Seeds Fourth iOS 9.1 Beta, Third tvOS Beta to Developers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of iOS 9.1 to registered developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the third iOS 9.1 beta and releasing iOS 9.0.2, the second minor bug fix update to iOS.

The new iOS 9.1 beta, build 13B136, is available as an over-the-air update and through Apple’s Developer Center. Apple has also released a third tvOS beta.

iOS 9.1 offers new features and compatibility updates for upcoming Apple products like the new fourth-generation Apple TV and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The iPad Pro ships with two accessories, the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil, both of which are deeply integrated into the operating system.

The update includes Unicode 8, adding support for emoji like the taco, burrito, cheese wedge, middle finger, unicorn head, and more, along with a new Messages option in the Settings app, allowing users to disable photos for their contacts.

It is not clear when iOS 9.1 will be released to the public, but it’s likely it will come in late October, coinciding with the launch of the new Apple TV.



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