Apple Releases New Apple TV Remote App

Finally, some might say, the promised Apple TV Remote app has been released to the general public after being part of the iOS 10 developer Beta since WWDC.

The app is new and not an upgrade, is iPhone only mimicking the look and functionality of the Siri remote bundled with the latest Apple TV yet has some sizeable differences.

You can still get the old remote app called iTunes Remote but upon running an error pops up warning you it’s not optimised for iOS 10, if you are running it on the iOS 10 beta.

Two thirds of the Apple TV remote’s screen is taken up with a representation of the track pad that is the equivilant counterpart on the Siri Remote. Below this menu options are available letting you step back through levels after you’ve drilled down into the many Apple TV screens. At each side buttons to stop forward or back if you are listening to music, and change to ten-second skip ahead back/forward if you are watching video.

Aside from the obvious graphic differences between the Apple TV remote layout and the Siri remote and the lack of volume controls there are a few other nice differences.

As with the  iTunes Remote app, passwords can be typed, passwords entered and searches performed on text areas using your iPhone’s keyboard. Apple made improvements with Siri letting you enter information one word at a time yet if you have 1Password for your iPhone it’s a heck of a lot easier entering a long secure password rather than trying to spell it out loud.

One thing which is missing is Siri Remote trackpad touching. On the remote you can tap an edge to navigate around the menus but not so in the app. Some might find it confusing to hold down the Siri icon on the iPhone’s screen rather than the actual button to initiate Siri commands.

With video playing tapping the trackpad area in the Apple TV remote app and swiping your finger left and right without lifting brings up the 10 second skip features. Hopefully a further release will see 3D touch where pressing harder skips further.

Those of you with phones supporting haptic feedback will find their device buzzing away with every touch.

The Apple TV Remote app is compatible with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Apple TVs and requires an iPhone running iOS 9.3.2 or later.

 

Apple Releases New Apple TV Remote App

Finally, some might say, the promised Apple TV Remote app has been released to the general public after being part of the iOS 10 developer Beta since WWDC.

The app is new and not an upgrade, is iPhone only mimicking the look and functionality of the Siri remote bundled with the latest Apple TV yet has some sizeable differences.

You can still get the old remote app called iTunes Remote but upon running an error pops up warning you it’s not optimised for iOS 10, if you are running it on the iOS 10 beta.

Two thirds of the Apple TV remote’s screen is taken up with a representation of the track pad that is the equivilant counterpart on the Siri Remote. Below this menu options are available letting you step back through levels after you’ve drilled down into the many Apple TV screens. At each side buttons to stop forward or back if you are listening to music, and change to ten-second skip ahead back/forward if you are watching video.

Aside from the obvious graphic differences between the Apple TV remote layout and the Siri remote and the lack of volume controls there are a few other nice differences.

As with the  iTunes Remote app, passwords can be typed, passwords entered and searches performed on text areas using your iPhone’s keyboard. Apple made improvements with Siri letting you enter information one word at a time yet if you have 1Password for your iPhone it’s a heck of a lot easier entering a long secure password rather than trying to spell it out loud.

One thing which is missing is Siri Remote trackpad touching. On the remote you can tap an edge to navigate around the menus but not so in the app. Some might find it confusing to hold down the Siri icon on the iPhone’s screen rather than the actual button to initiate Siri commands.

With video playing tapping the trackpad area in the Apple TV remote app and swiping your finger left and right without lifting brings up the 10 second skip features. Hopefully a further release will see 3D touch where pressing harder skips further.

Those of you with phones supporting haptic feedback will find their device buzzing away with every touch.

The Apple TV Remote app is compatible with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Apple TVs and requires an iPhone running iOS 9.3.2 or later.

 

How To Leave A Podcast Review Using Your iPhone

Every week on the Essential Apple podcast you’ll always hear us mention to review or rate the show. We read them all out of course but it’s not too obvious on how you leave a rating for us. Here’s our simple guide on how to do just that.

  • Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  <img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/57388caab09f95c3fbe348ae/5738974dc2ea512278cd96c8/579c9a582994ca7a060de5c7/1469880956752//img.jpg" alt=""/>
  • Tap the Search tab and enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review (hint essential apple podcast 😀 ) and click search
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  • Tap the album art for the podcast, not the episode. Normally you’ll see the shows Podcast library at the bottom right of the screen. You’ll then be whisked into the place where you can leave a podcast review.
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  • Tap the Reviews tab.
  • Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  • Enter your iTunes password to login if you aren’t already logged in. 
  • Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  <img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/57388caab09f95c3fbe348ae/5738974dc2ea512278cd96c8/579c99a69de4bb7ff30ff8f1/1469880783097//img.jpg" alt=""/>
  • Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  • Tap Send.
  • Sit back and relax knowing you’ve made a podcaster happy.

How do reviews affect the iTunes listings? No one is really quite sure and seems to be in the lap of the gods. All that’s known is reviews and subscriptions really help the show climb the rankings, not that it’s all about the rankings we just love doing a podcast.

So there you have it, how to review and rate shows on your iPhone.. so you might as well leave one for the Essential Apple Podcast then hadn’t you 😀

GoEuro iOS Travelling App.

Holiday season is here and yet whilst it might be the season to be chiling out, maxing and being all cool, trying to book your holiday / day break / long weekend travel can be a royal pain in the butt.

Taking public transport, leaves you working out that thorny equation of price vs time vs aggravation. GoEuro aims to take the pain out of this, and it has one feature to make it stand out from other similar apps.

Interface-wise there’s nothing to boast about, practical with enough features to filter results which are initially sorted by cheapest first.

Searches cover trains, coaches and planes with GoEuros differentiator from other similar apps being on flying, getting to and from your chosen airport. More on that in a moment.

Keeping things local I plotted my first GoEuro journey from my home home town to Bristol. At a glance cheapest prices per travel method are shown at the top. With the train costing £39 and taking 3h 28m vs coach £20 at 6h 15m I’ll save my sanity and pay the extra for a significant reduction in journey time.

Sadly coach offerings are limited to the UK’s one main carrier, National Express, excluding the very cheap Mega bus service. Trains searches cover pretty much the whole of the UK and look thorough on a few cursory glances to foreign places I know. Flight information comes from a couple of flight comparison services primarily Fly.co.uk and Skyscanner.co.uk.

Flying is where things start to get really cool. Other apps make you select an airport to fly from, GoEuro instead lets you select a location and this is where the differentiator between this and other similar apps comes into play. [1]

To test this I put my starting location in as my local town and destination of Munich. Enter date, tap go and let GoEuro work out the magic.

The whole journey is pretty much taken care off including with train journeys and flights being sorted at least in the UK.[3][4] On distance shorts (Munich) it simply leaves you saying Public transport with no option of booking tickets for the foreign side.

   
img GoEuro iOS Travelling App.

Same train, same time, same everything yet two different booking screens, both of which horrendous to use in a mobile browser.

When it comes to purchasing things start to fall apart. On my selected flight with FlyBe I’m whisked to Fly.co.uk in an embedded Safari webview. Sometimes things loaded fine, other times I’m left blankly staring at a white screen wondering if anything will happen as there’s no progress bar or indicator. Skyscanner bookings faired better.

If flights were bad enough transit purchasing via Raileasy.co.uk was much, much worse. Despite a declaration of “Preparing your reservation” one or two things are going to happen on the booking screen. Either it will populate with the information you’ve already entered or it doesn’t.

Booking a domestic journey from my home town to Cardiff, RailEasy came up as the vendor. One tap later I arrive at the booking screen with my date and departure all nicely selected for me

Time to broaden the Horizons so in the next test I travelled from my Home town on the same day as my previous test bu this time to Munich. Despite the train selection being exactly the same as my local travel test, this time I was taken to a completely different looking booking screen with only the date already selected not the time.

Meaning if you forget the time of travel you are left clicking back out of the bookings screen, finding the transit time, re-clicking purchase and manually making those selections. It’s odd, inconsistent and frustrating the same journey means more work.

The site in question Raileasy doesnt provied a good browsing experienced on a normal desktop looking like a site designed back in the 90’s and you can forget about responsive design on a mobile browser.

This places me in the reviewers predicament. GoEuro has a solid engine to power searched but is at the mercy of third party websites, some of which I’m almost sure bump the prices up ever so slightly if you repeatedly search for them.

Other new updates for the latest GoEuro update includes profile creation, saving name and credit card details. However profile creation uses Facebook and I’m way to paranoid for letting that service know more about me even if GoEuro is only access your public profile, email address and doesn’t post to Facebook. Don’t let my paranoia influence you as creating a profile is not mandatory.

GoEuro has a decent scraping engine with the App itself really only having a few niggles to complain about but the experience afterwards leaves a lot to be desired.

Being bounced from an app experience to a webview which sometimes populates information and sometimes doesnt make for a frustrating time. Couple that with no forward or back controls if you make a mistake during the booking process youre pretty screwed.

For example your purchasing on foreign website and change the language. Somesites will bounce to you to the home page in your chosen locale but then how do you go back to your booking or navigate back if you mis click something?

You could use GoEuro as an accessory to finding the information and then booking via desktop but that might defeat the point somewhat.

Despite the third party flaws and webview let downs, if you are looking to go away or often need travel info whilst out and about this new release of GoEuro is a fine update to an already sturdy offering.

[1] Apps that I’ve tried so far which were sent in for review.

[2] Actually there is no train to Cardiff airport but to it’s town. A shuttle service runs a bus service which costs £1.00

[3] It’s offered me an interesting changing point rather than Swansea it’s determined to make me wait at a platform in the middle of no where for some odd reason.

[4]Cardiff airport doesnt have a train station. The town does and a shuttle service runs often but it’s a worry to say you can get to the airport without 3rd party help. (https://www.cardiff-airport.com/by-rail/)

Iron Maiden Legacy Of The Beast.

Looking for something for the weekend. Well you won’t go much dar wrong with this game from the might rock gods known as Iron Maiden. 

Players take on the role of the band’s iconic mascot, Eddie, in his many forms — each with unique abilities. Players explore new worlds, travel through time, and battle a cast of dramatic and engaging characters drawn from the expansive catalogue of MAIDEN‘s albums and art. Gameplay is enhanced with a soundtrack using songs spanning the band’s entire back catalogue. 

OK so you might have to be q fan of this particular genre of music but it does put an interesting twist on the RPG genre with the bonus of not being some poor, half hearted attempt just to cash in on the app market. 

Yet as good as the sound track is and gameplay mechanics which are solid the game does suffer from some horrendous loading times on startup. It’s taken the mantle of the longest loading game ever. Let’s hope it’s just pulling down assets incrementally from.an overworked server.  Still at least it won’t be as flakes as Pokémon Go.  

 https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/iron-maiden-legacy-beast/id1098307964?mt=8&

Iron Maiden Legacy Of The Beast.

Looking for something for the weekend. Well you won’t go much dar wrong with this game from the might rock gods known as Iron Maiden. 

Players take on the role of the band’s iconic mascot, Eddie, in his many forms — each with unique abilities. Players explore new worlds, travel through time, and battle a cast of dramatic and engaging characters drawn from the expansive catalogue of MAIDEN‘s albums and art. Gameplay is enhanced with a soundtrack using songs spanning the band’s entire back catalogue. 

OK so you might have to be q fan of this particular genre of music but it does put an interesting twist on the RPG genre with the bonus of not being some poor, half hearted attempt just to cash in on the app market. 

Yet as good as the sound track is and gameplay mechanics which are solid the game does suffer from some horrendous loading times on startup. It’s taken the mantle of the longest loading game ever. Let’s hope it’s just pulling down assets incrementally from.an overworked server.  Still at least it won’t be as flakes as Pokémon Go.  

 https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/iron-maiden-legacy-beast/id1098307964?mt=8&

Essential Apple Podcast 012: #Piehorse..

This week it’s all about iOS 10, the year of only 2 iPhones, Apple doing good for the music industry, problems in Tehran and of course…. Pokémon Go.

 

Listen to the Essential Apple Podcast via.

iTunes | TuneIn | Opinion | RSS | Overcast | Google Play | Direct Download
 

Show Notes

  • From the article
  • Mail filtering
  • Mac style mail view
  • Easy ubsub from mailing lists (yes there are webservices out there)
  • Close many tabs at once in safari
  • Mark up images in iOS
  • Touch id, press the button to unlock
  • Per person read receipts
  • Prioritise downloads
  • Remove stock apps
  • Add to iCloud Drive.
  • New alarms for waking up in the morning, love them!

iPhone bug allows hackers to steal passwords with just a text message – update now to protect yourself – The Telegraph

A prominent gadget leaker says Apple will only release 2 new iPhones this year, not 3 – Business Insider (Wait, the SE was already released this year??)

Tehran threatens to ban iPhones unless Apple officially registers in Iran – japantimes.co.jp

Apple Music and iTunes Match matching methods now match – SixColors

Apple’s song royalty rate proposal would hit Spotify right in the wallet Macworld 

Nemos Hardware Store

This weeks Johns rocking the summer wear with a set of goggles and zippers for your summer fun. Jump straight in at 41:11 if you use Overcast.

The Giggly Goggles, swim goggles, are the most fun and comfortable goggles! Kids can put these goggles on by themselves with no need for any adjustments – the special bungee band on the side makes for an easy fit for most sizes.

FixnZip isn’t your average zipper repair kit. It’s a replacement zipper slider that you can install without tools or sewing.

Amazon Affiliate link
Shop at Amazon? You can support the show just by using our link in the show notes or on the website. Using our amazon affiliate link means we get a very small % of hopefully something you’d purchased after John’s review but it doesn’t have to be. Use the link, shop, purchase anything and you’ll be supporting the show.

Failing that give us a like on the twittbook. Via @essentialapple1 or Facebook and Google Plus which of course is in the show notes

Worth A Chirp

Barry : Micro Machines
Karl : Scrivener for Mac / iOS
Mark : MusicBrainz Picard – If you have have songs without artwork, dodgy file names etc this is the one you need. Not the best UI but works a treat.

BMO Drops Apple Target from $118 to $116

There seems to be a trend on Wall Street. Everyone is excited about Apple, but just not excited about Apple right now. Barron’s had BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long issuing a note on Thursday reiterating his outperform rating on Apple shares while cutting his expectations and his price target. The target goes from $118 to $116. ‘Two-Dollar-Tim’ we’ll call him now. As for his lowered expectations, gross margins have got him down in the near-term. He and his now estimate corporate gross margin of 37.5% versus consensus 38.3%, according to his note. He went on to write:

We believe the dilution from the iPhone SE was more pronounced in June, and September will be more driven by initial volume and gross margin on the iPhone 7.

Of course, we’ll out what last quarter held next Tuesday. That’s when Apple announces earnings and hold its Q&A call with financial analysts. Corn dogs to be served after — no reason, I just like corn dogs.

Source : Barrons

IDC: Smartwatches See YOY Decline in 2Q2016. Apple Watch Still Going Strong

IDC is out with some fairly useless smartwatch numbers for Q2 2016. Useless, because companies tend to not actually say how many smartwatches they’ve sold, yet there’s IDC saying it for them. Still it does give us an idea of where the industry analysts think smartwatches are or where they think they’re going. Engadget and MacRumors both ran reports on the IDC release, They say Apple is leagues ahead of runner-up Samsung, though Samsung is believed by the firm to have played a bit of catch-up.

The MacRumors piece says Samsung did close the gap with strong 51% year-over-year growth and a nine-point rise in market share. Big as that sounds, Samsung only sold 600,000 smartwatches in the June quarter, according to the firm.

Apple on the other hand sold nearly three times as many of its watches, yet still managed to lose market share. IDC says the Cupertino company sold 1.6 million of its wearables last quarter. Think back and we will remember that comparing Apple Watch sales for Q2 2016 to sales for Q2 2015 is sort of silly. That’s because Q2 2015 was the first quarter of Apple Watch availability, landing on the heels of over a year of rumor and over six months of hype. The Engadget piece says the lack of updated hardware is a key reason for the drop in numbers for smart watches overall. It’s unclear though whether that’s IDC’s supposition or Engadget’s.

Survey Has Young SKorean Consumers Preferring iPhone

Looking for good new around iPhone? Well, look no further than South Korea — which is probably pretty far for most of you to look. Patently Apple has word of a new survey from the country. According to Gallup Korea, 41% of respondents between 20-29 years old prefer iPhone to phones made by South Korea’s own Samsung. Older consumers favor for the hometown player. According to the piece, 57% of respondents aged 50-59 preferred Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. Mostly the country does belong to Samsung. Quoting the report:

In the big picture, 56 percent of the total respondents said that they use Samsung smartphones, 19 percent use LG smartphones and 17 percent use iPhones.

But Apple has got the young people, who will be older people one day. Meanwhile the old people will be… people who no longer need smartphones. And where will Samsung be then? Patently Apple sees the interest on the part of the younger consumers as proof that Apple needs to open a store in South Korea. Add that to the list of things that everyone knows Apple needs to do.

Source : Patently Apple

Essential Apple Podcast 011: So, 6 Months Later after becoming a developer …

So you release an app and it goes to the top of the app store charts world wide.  You leave your job to become a full time developer and what happens next. This happened to Dean Murphy the developer of the content blocking app Crystal. In this episode of the Essential Apple podcast we catch up with him to see how interesting life has been since the release of his app.

Listen Via…

iTunesTuneIn | OpinionRSS | OvercastGoogle Play | Direct Download |

What prompts someone to write a content blocker?
So you left your job… hows that worked out for you?
Travelling and meeting new people.
Dealing with the fall out of acceptable ads.
Are we ever going to get to a place of ‘better ads’?
Whitelisting coming to Crystal version 2.
Cleanads.io – Who, what, why.
Problems beyond adblocking – 3rd parties and fraud.
Developing on Android – Being contacted by Samsung
Working with Samsung
Google Play experience vs App store.
The choice behind not releasing Crystal as a paid for App on Android.

Going to SanFran to meet the Cupertino Team
Crystal2 – Release date
Subscription pricing thoughts for apps

Links mentioned in the show

In consideration of Ad Blocking – YouTube
Clean Ads IO: Catching Up With Ad Blockers And The Blockers That Block Them – Clean Ads IO 

A huge thanks to Dean for coming on the show again. You can find out more about those stats, his apps and more via crystalapp.co and via twitter.

 

 

Differential Privacy in iOS 10 to be Opt-In

Apple appears to be going above and beyond with its differential privacy initiative. The company has an understandable interest in knowing what people think. It helps them help Siri anticipate what people will think or ask before those people realize it themselves. At the same time, Apple has this thing about not wanting too much information about its customers. Thus was born Apple’s Differential Privacy plan, announced a couple of weeks ago at WWDC and defined in one article as a ‘statistical method designed to reap useful intel from big piles of data or protecting personally identifying information therein’.

Put a different way, Apple wants to know about users in aggregate but not specific individual users. But they still want the users’ permission – specific individual users’.

Recode says that data collection under differential privacy in iOS 10 will be opt-in. The article lists three things learnt since WWDC about the initiative: (1) Differential data is making its debut with iOS 10, and Apple says it has not yet been collecting such data. (2) The decision to allow Apple use of data will be up to the user and require their opt-in consent. (3) Apple says it is not using iOS users’ cloud-stored photos to power the image recognition features in iOS 10, instead relying on other data sets to train its algorithms.

Even with the self-imposed tunnel vision, Apple is not looking at nearly as much data as other companies might – at least not right away. According to Recode:

Apple says that differential privacy will initially be limited to four specific use cases: New words that users add to their local dictionaries, emojis typed by the user (so that Apple can suggest emoji replacements), deep links used inside apps (provided they are marked for public indexing) and lookup hints within notes.

Source : Recode

Podcast Editing Gets Easier on iOS with Ferrite’s Tighten Feature.

Editing a podcast on iOS has just gotten a whole lot easier thanks to a new feature in Ferrite Recording Studio. From the development team Wooji Juice, Ferrite is a nicely featured but not over burdened recording and editing studio aimed at pod casters.

Ferrite comes with a built in feature called “strip silence”. This is immensely handy for those times when recording when a long pause is introduced, maybe by someone gathering their thoughts, a technical issue or something else, where you can automatically detect the silence and strip it out. This is something I do regularly when editing the Essential Apple show albeit within Audacity.

Audacity had a one up over Ferrite with it’s truncate silence feature which took this process one step forward by not only stripping out the silence but deleting the gaps between where you had removed the silence.

  <img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/57388caab09f95c3fbe348ae/5738974dc2ea512278cd96c8/5771518246c3c42655098710/1467044227273/image.jpg" alt=""/>

Some will say this style of automation can break the flow of conversation as it leaves no breathing room, removing a natrual feel to the audio. I can’t disagree especially if you go a little too heavy with truncating silence.  Thankfully my co hosts and I tend to be rapid talkers and very little empty air to this works for us. Granted this is also perhaps negated by Overcast and the Smart Speed feature as well.

  <img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/57388caab09f95c3fbe348ae/5738974dc2ea512278cd96c8/577154b7e6f2e15538db2d17/1467045048135/image.jpg" alt=""/>

With the new “tighten” feature  after you have stripped silence or done your own editing you can now close the gaps between edits easily with 2 dials. Specify the silence duration and the amount you want to close the gaps by and it shows the changes in real time to your audio at the top of the screen.

The end result is that an app which had an annoying omission, at least for my workflow, is being used more even if only for the shorter segments of the show.

Ferrite Recording Studio is a free download from the App store for iOS but you really want to grab the iPad version as Ferrite makes great use of the extra screen real estate.