Buzzing around the online sphere this week, a number of news stories and updates from Apple have been revealed. Covering their infamous iPhone, the Watch and their latest operating system, iOS 9, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know to stay ahead of the game!
Apple brings a Smart Battery Case with iOS integration:
Available on the Apple online store, and reviewed by a handful of web retailers, the Apple Smart Battery Case has been released. This gadget allows iPhone 6s users to extend their phone battery life, as well as increased cellular performance and iOS integration which helpfully shows the accessory’s current battery level. Unfortunately, the case does not charge a dead iPhone to 100% battery power, but its 1,877 mAh battery is a start!
Visually, the case has an extended charging section at the back and fits over your phone like a regular silicone case – only with an inner Lightning connector adapter. Functionally, there is no On/Off feature or indicator LED, so as soon as it is fitted, it begins charging discreetly until you remove the case. For Apple fans, at £79/$99 it might be a necessary addition to your Apple family. A handy device taking you further from your trusty mains charger, and somewhat helps with the well-known issue of smartphone battery life.
Next Generation Apple Watch event:
A rumoured event to take place in March 2016 could reveal the next-generation Apple Watch, reports 9to5Mac. With likely shipping around one month later in April, this would mark one year after the release of the first generation Apple watch in April 2015.
There have been numerous reports of the second-generation Apple Watch, which surfaced almost as soon as – if not before – the first was released, suggesting a new Wi-Fi chip to increase the Watch’s functionality without an iPhone connection. Due to issues surrounding performance on health-related features, improved technology could see conservative updates in the health field such as sensors measuring blood pressure, oxygen levels and skin conductivity. Other rumoured features include a new FaceTime call function with a front-facing camera.
Possible iPhone 6c to be confirmed:
Following the Apple Watch news, there is speculation a new iPhone 6c could be revealed at the March 2016 event, which would bring a more affordable, 4inch iPhone similar to the iPhone 5c. This next-generation phone is rumoured to house an A8 or A9 processor (found in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus), Apple Pay and Touch ID, all contained in an aluminium case.
iOS 9.2 update released to the public:
The second major update to iOS 9 has been released to the public, after testing through developers and public beta testers since October. Available to all iOS 9 users as an over-the-air update, iOS 9 actually comes as the fourth update, following iOS 9.0.1, 9.0.2 and 9.1.
As with usual large updates, iOS 9.2 covers varied bug fixes and support improvements, as well as additional features within apps:
- Apple Music improvements, including the ability to create a new playlist when adding a song to a playlist; a new download indicator next to songs which have been downloaded in My Music and Playlists; additional artist information viewable while browsing Classical music in the Apple Music catalogue; and order priority for your most recently changed playlist so this is at the top when songs are added
- iBooks improvements, including the ability to listen to an audiobook while you browse your library, access other books or browse the iBooks store; and support for 3D Touch to peek and pop pages from the Table of Contents, your Notes and Bookmarks, or search results inside the book
- Top Stories section in the News app (available in US, UK and AUS)
- Mail Drop feature in Mail to send large attachments
- Safari stability improvements
- Podcasts stability improvements
- Activity app stability improvements
- Health data improvements
- Wallet updates and Lock screen alerts improvements
- Accessibility improvements, including VoiceOver updates, Guided Access updates, Switch Control functionality and Speak Screen speech rates
- iOS installation improvements concerning alarms – previous updates could prevent an alarm going off
- Quick Reply keyboard improvements
- Punctuation input improvements on the Chinese 10-key keyboards
- Cyrillic keyboard caps lock fixes
- Mail attachment fixes
- Contact search fixes where an issue could cause the search to display no results
- Calendar fixes where an issue prevented Calendar from displaying all seven days in week view
- iPad camera screen fixes when capturing video, and iPad keyboard fixes triggering text selection mode
- Find my iPhone login fixes
- Manual iCloud backup fixes
- Siri support for Arabic (SAU and UAE)
- iPhone support for the USB camera Adapter to import photos and videos
- AT&T’s NumberSync Wi-Fi calling support, allowing users to accept calls on any device even when their phone is not nearby
- Safari View Controller developments while working with third-party apps (pop-up windows)
For the full list, head to Apple’s support page