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Updated iconography, styling color coding rolling out to Google Maps app

2017 December 13
by RSS Feed

Previewed a month ago, Google Maps’ new look began rolling out to iOS users on Wednesday.

Featuring updated colors and styling, Google Maps 4.42 for iPhone and iPad now better highlights the information most relevant to your searches, like gas stations for navigation, train stations for transit and so forth. Google hopes that the updated color scheme along with the new icons will help people identify the kind of place they’re looking at.

As you can see for yourself, points of interest such as a cafe, church, museum or hospital are now nicely color-coded. This helps you, say, find a coffee shop visually by spotting the nearest orange icon on the map because orange is the color for the Food & Drink section in Google Maps. Check out the cheat sheet of the new colors and iconography included below to help you get acquainted with the new look in Google Maps for iOS.

Other changes include an easier way to view the impact of your reviews in the Contributions tab and the ability to filter by trains or buses in the app’s “Transit Departures” Today widget.

These changes require Google Maps for iOS version 4.42 or newer.

Google isn’t stopping there, however, because the updated styling will be applied over the course of the next few weeks to all its products that incorporate mapping features, including Google Assistant, Google Search and Google Earth.

“Over time, the new style will also appear in the apps, websites and experiences offered by companies that use Google Maps APIs as well,” noted the search giant.

And because Santa Claus is coming to town in less than ten days, the Mountain View company has taken it upon itself to put up a nicely done Santa’s Village webpage where you can play assorted mini-games, access a wealth of useful resources for teachers and parents, tune into Santa Tracker to follow the big guy and his trusty reindeer as they make their way around the globe, and more.

You can even ask the Google Assistant: “Ok Google, where is Santa?”

Download Google Maps for free from App Store.

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First developer betas of iOS 11.2.5, watchOS 4.2.2 tvOS 11.2.5 now available

2017 December 13
by RSS Feed

Apple on Wednesday released first betas of the upcoming software updates for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Apple Watch following the first developer beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 to developers which dropped on Monday.

The iOS 11.2.5 beta (build 15D5037e) is now available to registered developers via the Software Update mechanism in iOS Settings → General → Software Update on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with Apple’s beta configuration profile installed.

The watchOS 4.2.2 beta (build 15S5530d) can be installed on any Apple Watch model that runs an appropriate configuration profile, by tapping My Watch → General → Software Update in the companion Watch app on your paired iPhone (which must run the iOS 11.2.5 beta).

The tvOS 11.2.5 beta (build 15K5531d) is available in tvOS Settings → System → Software Update on your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K, assuming the device uses Apple’s configuration profile.

Configuration profiles that are appropriate for your hardware can be downloaded from Apple’s portal for developers. Matching public betas are expected to follow in the next 24 hours so stay tuned to iDownloadBlog as we’ll be making sure to tell you about new features in these OS updates.

We found no mentions of new features in official release notes.

Report your own findings via or @iDownloadBlog.

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Twitterrific unveils iPhone X-optimized black theme and other new features

2017 December 13
by RSS Feed

Developer The Iconfactory on Wednesday announced an update for its Twitterrific app for iPhone, iPad and Mac, bringing a bevy of new features, enhancements and fixes including a true black theme that not only looks great on iPhone X, but also helps save power.

From The Iconfactory blog:

Running Twitterrific with this new theme looks amazingly sharp and feels great. The timeline and user profiles seem to extend right off the edges of the device creating a wonderful visual experience. We think you’ll be pleased. Lastly, the update includes redesigned versions of Twitterrific’s light and dark themes, both of which have been adjusted for greater contrast and clarity across platforms.

Automatic poll detection, another new feature, puts a new button at the bottom of a tweet if common markers are found, like the #poll hashtag or a graph/ballot box emoji at the beginning or the end of the tweet.

A redesigned Theme panel now provides some additional features, like avatar shapes (rounded rectangle, squircle, circle and square) and improved font size selections. Last but not least, the iPhone and iPad app now features support for Apple’s Dynamic Type accessibility feature which makes it easy to define font size in apps.

Turn on Dynamic Type under iOS Settings → General → Accessibility → Larger Text and Twitterrific will automatically adjust text size accordingly.

Other tidbits in Twitterrific for iOS include the ability to deactivate muffle rules without having to delete them (your rules will now automatically deactivate themselves after 60 days of inactivity), a more informative muffle editor, additional improvements to iOS 11’s Smart Invert feature, an unread indicator dot on tweets (this is an awesome feature), a timestamp on quoted tweets and more.

I especially like the new ability to completely turn off media on iOS and a fun holiday edition of Twitterrific’s icon, called “Jolly Ollie.”

On the Mac side, Twitterrific has plugged a big memory leak, tweaked default themes and several icons for greater clarity, added the ability to deactivate muffle rules without having to delete them and fixed a handful of bugs.

Head over to The Iconfactory website for the complete list of everything new, enhanced and fixed in Twitterrific 5.18 for iOS and Twitterrific 5.2.2 for macOS.

Twitterrific 5 for iPhone and iPad is a free download from App Store.

Twitterrific 5 for macOS is a $19.99 download from Mac App Store.

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tvOS 11.2.1 for Apple TV released, restores HomeKit sharing following vulnerability fix

2017 December 13
by RSS Feed

Apple followed up on today’s release of iOS 11.2.1 with the tvOS 11.2.1 update for Apple TV.

The over-the-air update is available in Settings → System → Software Update on your Apple TV. If you have optionally enabled automatic software updates in the Settings, your set-top box will be upgraded to the tvOS 11.2.1 software automatically.

Like iOS 11.2.1, tvOS 11.2.1 restores remote access to HomeKit accessories for shared users. Apple TV had to be updated as well because the set-top box doubles as a hub for remote control of HomeKit-compatible smart home accessories from the Home app for iOS.

HomeKit suffered from a vulnerability that permitted unauthorized access to HomeKit devices, such as smart locks, blinds and more. While Apple last week fixed the bug server-side, it temporarily disabled remote HomeKit access for shared users.

tvOS 11.2.1 has now restored that functionality.

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tvOS 11.2.1 is available for the fourth-generation Apple TV and Apple TV 4K. The security content of the software update will be listed in a support document on Apple’s website.

You can gran Apple TV firmware from iDownloadBlog’s Download page.

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Apple issues iOS 11.2.1 with HomeKit fix

2017 December 13
by RSS Feed

Apple today released iOS 11.2.1, a small bug-fix update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

It restores remote access to HomeKit accessories in the Home app for shared users. This problem was also fixed for owners of the fourth-generation Apple TV and Apple TV 4K with the release of tvOS 11.2.1.

According to release notes, iOS 11.2.1 fixed an issue that could disable remote access to shared users of the Home app. The company will provide detailed information on the security content of iOS 11.2.1 shortly via a support document on its website.

As discovered by 9to5Mac a few days ago, Apple’s HomeKit platform for smart home accessories was plagued with a major vulnerability which allowed unauthorized access to HomeKit devices like smart locks. The company immediately fixed the bug server-side while also disabling remote access for shared HomeKit users as a security precaution.

“The issue affecting HomeKit users running iOS 11.2 has been fixed,” an Apple spokesperson told the publication. “The fix temporarily disables remote access to shared users, which will be restored in a software update early next week.

With iOS 11.2.1 released, Apple has now reinstated that functionality.

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You can download iOS 11.2.1 from iDownloadBlog’s Download page.

The over-the-air update is available in Settings → General → Software Update on your iOS device. You can also update your devices to the latest version of iOS using desktop iTunes.

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