Steve Troughton-Smith

Evidence of iPad floating app windows shows up in Apple WebKit

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Floating app windows could be coming to iPad. Finally.
The odds of floating app windows appearing with iPadOS 16 just went up.
Illustration: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

There’s a new reason to think iPadOS 16 might include support for resizable floating app windows. A developer found evidence that this hoped-for feature is being added to Apple’s browser engine for iPad and iPhone.

If true, confirmation isn’t far away. Apple is expected to unveil iPadOS 16 at its Worldwide Developers Conference in early June.

Apple’s universal purchases will change how you buy and use apps

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app-store
Universal Purchases are coming soon to iOS and Mac apps.
Photo: Apple

Apple is laying the groundwork to make it easier for developers to distribute their apps across all of Apple’s platforms.

Included in Wednesday’s big batch of beta updates, Apple introduced a new option in Xcode 11.4 beta 1 for developers to build and test apps using a single bundle ID. Starting in March, iPhone users will be able to download an app via the iOS App Store and then (if the developer supports it) download it on other Apple platforms with ease.

This simple change might seem like an obvious added convenience for users, but it also sets up the App Store for some colossal changes over the next few years. It will force Apple developers to make some big decisions about their businesses.

Apple Watch Series 5 runs on same CPU as Series 4

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Apple-Watch-5
Apple Watch 5 is always ready with the time.
Photo: Apple

The insides of the Apple Watch Series 5 aren’t all that different from last year’s Series 4.

Other than the new always-on display, the only other internal changes Apple promoted were the new compass and increased storage. The latest build of Xcode reveals that those are basically the only changes, as the Series 5 uses the same CPU and GPU found in Apple Watch Series 4.

No, Apple hasn’t canceled its AR glasses project

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Apple glasses
Apple Glasses could be the next big thing.
Photo: Martin Hajek

Production of Apple’s upcoming augmented reality glasses has supposedly been “terminated,” according to one of the worst sources of Apple rumors on the internet.

A number of websites have taken DigiTimes’ dubious report of the canceled Apple smart glasses as fact. However, after digging into iOS 13’s assets, one of the best Apple sleuths in the world says there’s still a lot of evidence that the AR glasses might come even sooner than expected.

Catalyst versions of Messages and Shortcuts on the way to macOS

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iMessage effects
A look at one of the new animations on Messages.
Screenshot: Steve Troughton-Smith

Apple is working to bring new versions of Messages and Shortcuts to Mac, according to code discovered in the latest beta of macOS 10.15 Catalina.

The code was uncovered by developer Steve Troughton-Smith. This would be the first time Shortcuts is available on macOS devices. While Messages is currently on Mac, it looks to be getting a big overhaul.

Only a small number of Macs will support Sidecar in macOS Catalina

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Luna Display easily converts an iPad into a second screen for your MacBook Pro.
Third-party solutions are far from dead.
Photo: Astro HQ

Not many Apple computers will be left out in the cold when its big macOS Catalina upgrade rolls out this fall. But even if your Mac is compatible, it might not be able to take advantage of every feature.

Sidecar, which lets you use an iPad as a second screen, will only support a limited number of machines. If your Mac is getting a little long in the tooth, you’re probably going to be out of luck.

Overcast comes to Mac in impressive Marzipan concept

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Overcast running on macOS
Marzipan is going to bring some great apps to the Mac when it launches.
Screenshot: Steven Troughton-Smith

At WWDC last year, Apple shared a glimpse at the future of macOS. With their “Sneak Peek” of a framework, codenamed Marzipan, they previewed how macOS could support iOS apps in the future.

In macOS Mojave, Apple included a small set of “marzipan” apps – News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home – but the thing most people want to see is their favorite iOS apps on the Mac. Thanks to iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith, we’ve started to get a pretty interesting idea.

Finally! Apple might be planning to break up iTunes

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iTunes on Mac
iTunes has been a pain in the ass for way too long.
Photo: Apple

The death of iTunes might finally be on the horizon. Or, at least, the downsizing of iTunes certainly seems to be.

iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith revealed today that he unearthed evidence about Apple’s plans to make separate apps for Music, Podcasts and Books. iTunes slowly morphed into a bloated beast over the last decade, so paring down the app would be welcomed by Mac users. But Troughton-Smith warns not to get your hopes up too high just yet.

iOS 12 spills new evidence of future iPad with Face ID

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AvatarKit for iPad in iOS 12
Animoji is ready for iPad in iOS 12.
Photo: Steve Troughton-Smith

New evidence that confirms Apple is preparing a future iPad with Face ID has been spilled by the latest iOS 12 beta.

One developer has discovered that AvatarKit, the framework that powers Animoji, is now ready for iPad. It still requires a TrueDepth camera which can only be found in iPhone X for now, but it seems that will change when new iPads arrive this fall.

iPhone X will pack A11 chip with six cores

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TSMC A11 chip
A 'leaked' image of Apple's alleged A11 chip.
Photo: Slashleaks

The iPhone X will officially be the most powerful iOS device Apple’s ever made, based on information from the leaked iOS 11 GM.

Apple’s new A11 chip will pack six cores for unprecedented processing power in an iPhone. And with all the new augmented reality and 3D scanning features its set to receive, it’s gonna need all the power it can get.

Apple code confirms that facial unlocking tech is on the way

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iPhone 8 facial recognition
We could be waiting a long time for iPhone 8.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Code confirming the existence of Apple’s infrared facial recognition technology has been discovered by intrepid developer-turned-iOS sleuth Steve Troughton-Smith.

Troughton-Smith discovered the code in the HomePod firmware Apple released late last week. It suggests that previous reports about face unlocking on the iPhone 8, possibly as a replacement for Touch ID, may be accurate.

HomePod software reveals new details of Apple’s smart speaker

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Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
HomePod will launch in December, but supplies will be constrained.
Photo: Apple

The launch of Apple’s new HomePod speaker isn’t slated until the very end of 2017, but after digging into the software that powers the new device, one developer has revealed a number of features fans can expect.

Notorious iOS sleuth Steve Troughton Smith has done some serious research into HomePod and discovered that it’s basically like another iOS device only it doesn’t have a big screen. That could open HomePod up to some exciting capabilities in the future.

iOS 10.3 code hints at faster refresh rate for 10.5-inch iPad Pro

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The new iPad Pro could have an even greater display.
The new iPad Pro could have an even greater display.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next-generation iPad Pro could deliver a faster display refresh rate, if you believe a clue hidden in the latest iOS beta.

Code from the latest developer build of iOS 10.3 hints at the ability to reduce an iPad’s refresh rate to 60Hz from a higher default setting.

iOS concept brings joy of Windows to iPad

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Windows could change work on the iPad.
Windows could change work on the iPad.
Photo: Steve Troughton-Smith

iOS 9 finally brought split-screen views to the iPad, but it’s still not nearly as useful as the windowed multitasking views you get on a Mac. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith has come up with a much better solution with a new proof-of-concept called iOS window management that would bring the joy of working in a windows environment to the iPad.

Apple already has the foundation built thanks to UIKit. It only took Troughton-Smith 500 lines of code to build the concept with the UIWindow subclass, allowing individual app screens to be resized an overlaid on top of each other.

Check out the concept video:

Jailbreak Brings Mac OS (And Hope) To Microsoft Surface RT Tablet

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Mac-OS-Surface-RT

If you’re a Mac user who picked up a Microsoft Surface RT tablet out of curiosity when they went on sale last October, and you’re yet to find a use for it, then don’t despair. Earlier this week it was revealed that it’s possible to jailbreak the device and install desktop apps that are designed for ARM processors — something Microsoft doesn’t officially support.

One developer has taken advantage of the exploit to run an early version of Apple’s Mac OS operating system inside a emulator.