iOS 8 Grants New Power to Rival Browsers

Apple has decided to stop hogging some of the performance it once reserved for Safari on iOS. The company for years has built software called WebKit that's used to display Web pages and run Web apps. WebKit is at the heart of Safari, but Apple also supplies a separate version that other apps on iOS 7 can use. That's handy for developers who want to create user interfaces based on Web technology such as JavaScript and HTML, and it's essential for Google Chrome and Opera Coast, because Apple prohibits anyone from bringing their own browser engines to iOS.

Apple Introduces HomeKit for iOS 8

Apple wants to make it easier to manage your home automation devices, so that you can lock doors, dim lights, and adjust your thermostat from your iPhone or iPad. On Monday, the company announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco that it has added functionality in its upcoming release of iOS 8, through the HomeKit software platform, to integrate control for door locking, light dimming, and other home automation gadgets and features to iOS devices.

Apple Officially Announced iOS 8

Apple officially announced iOS 8 on Monday at its annual WWDC conference in San Francisco, following an annual tradition of showcasing the evolution of its software for the iPhone and iPad. Big-ticket announcements include "widgets," Touch ID for third-party apps, a brand-new keyboard that learns as you go, and software for home automation. Conference-goers get the iOS 8 beta today, while everyone else can get their fingers on the new software in the fall.

Windows 8.1 Update Deadline Slips Back a Month

Microsoft is giving consumers another 30 days beyond its originally stated deadline to install Windows 8.1 Update. Instead of requiring Windows 8.1 users to install the update by May 13, which is this month's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft is now allowing them a longer grace period -- until June 10 -- to move to the Update in order to continue to receive patches and fixes from the company. Microsoft announced the Windows 8.1 Update deadline extension on May 12.

Twitter Turns on Mute Feature

Twitter users can now mute others, meaning that their tweets will not show up in a timeline. The new feature, which Twitter announced in a blog post Monday, allows you to avoid seeing tweets from people you'd rather avoid. However, they will still be able to see your tweets and retweets. The new tool appears to be what Twitter was aiming for when it briefly changed its blocking policy in December, igniting a firestorm of controversy.

Firefox New-tab Page won't be Plastered with Logos

Mozilla is updating a plan to put ads on the windows that show when Firefox users launch a new browser tab, reassuring users that they won't lose control or be overwhelmed with ads. Mozilla announced the Firefox new-tab page advertisements idea in February, saying it wanted to feature "directory tiles" that would be useful to users. The plan has caused some worries, though.

Google Lets Android Apps Tap into Street View

Street View, Google's eye-level images showing more and more of the real world, is now available for Android software to use. That ability comes with the new Google Play Services 4.4, an update to the company's multipurpose software resource that lets Android app developers tap into a range of Google features. With the change, announced Wednesday night, a restaurant-review app could show street-level views of the restaurants

Adobe is Launching a new iPad App Called Voice

In an era of social-media marketing, school fundraisers, and Kickstarter campaigns, more and more people need to persuade others to do something. Not everybody has the budget or skills for a TED talk, though, which is why Adobe is launching a new iPad app called Voice. The free app walks people through a handful of templates, offering a narrative structure like "hero's journey" or "promote an idea." People then add clip art, music, and graphics to build a pitch.

iOS 7 Reportedly not Encrypting Email Attachments

Apple's bundled Mail app in the latest versions of iOS 7 fails to encrypt email attachments, leaving them vulnerable to attackers, a security researcher has warned. Security researcher Andreas Kurtz wrote in a blog post that he discovered a few weeks ago that attachments in the Mobile.Mail app in iOS 7.0.4, 7.1, and 7.1.1 were not adequately secured by Apple's data protection mechanisms.

Google Tests Broader Bookmarking Service Called Stars

Google lets people click a star icon to flag interest in particular Gmail messages, Chrome bookmarks, Android address book contacts, and Google Apps documents. Now it looks like the company is testing a service called Stars that could centralize the idea. Google+ user and Google watcher Florian Kiersch has spotted graphics, code snippets, and other tidbits about Google Stars since April. On Monday, he posted a Google Stars video showing how some of the service could work, based on access to Google's "dogfooding" test framework.

Newer articles Older articles