iOS 8 Concept Video Features Unified Interface for Control Center and Multitasking

A concept video of what a unified Control Center and multitasking interface would look like in iOS 8 has been created by designer Bill Labus and posted by TheTechBlock (via Cult of Mac).


The version of iOS 8 in the video shows the app switcher and user settings in one unified view accessed by a single swipe up gesture. Users are free to multitask or toggle preferences such as music volume and WiFi, as the buttons for the toggles themselves have been combined into one space to allow for more room. The video also shows a refined Notification Center that features a minimalistic look with more centered text, which is triggered by a swipe gesture down.

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Labus also noted his reasons for making such changes to integrate the multitasking switcher into Control Center:

Unfortunately, I find double-clicking the home button to be irritating- there’s a noticeable delay between the second click and the multitasking view appearing, and in my haste I often accidentally triple-click the home button, forcing me to wait while the OS bounces into, and back out of, multitasking. Control Center’s bottom edge gesture is far faster and easier to perform, however as I said I do use Control Center frequently as well, so I wouldn’t necessarily want to swap the two and use the home button double click to bring up Control Center.

Apple introduced Control Center and a refined version of multitasking with the release of iOS 7 last fall. While an overhaul or unification of both is unlikely to happen with any immediate update to iOS 7, it is possible that Apple could make major changes in time for iOS 8, which will likely be released this fall.

Apple Acquires ‘TestFlight’ iOS Beta Testing Platform

Apple has purchased Burstly, the company behind the popular iOS beta testing platformTestFlight, according to TechCrunch. The site says its sources have “pointed in Apple’s direction” and that though it’s just a rumor at this point, it would make a good fit.

TestFlight said on Wednesday that it would be discontinuing its Android product and it will no longer take new customers for its beta testing SDK — existing customers can continue using TestFlight, however.

iOS Beta

Odder still is how these product announcements – which greatly impact the company’s mobile developer user base – have been handled so far. There’s been no mention of them on the TestFlight changelog, for example, no company blog post, no emails, and no mention of them on social media channels – that is, unless you count the replies to confused developers from @testflightapp, the company’s main Twitter account. Developers are being asked to reach out directly to the company via an email form instead of being given a more useful public reply.

There are a number of different beta testing iOS platforms, including TestFlight andHockeyApp, though a number of larger developers have created their own testing platforms through Apple’s Enterprise distribution program.

Apple Will Release 5.6-Inch ‘Experimental’ Phone Without iPhone Branding

Apple is planning on introducing two new phones this year featuring displays of 4.7 and 5.6 inches, with the former using a traditional Gorilla Glass display and the latter featuring a sapphire screen, according to a new report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News [Google Translate] (via Mac Otakara). The report also states that due to its experimental nature, Apple’s 5.6-inch phone will not be known as an iPhone.

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While it is somewhat probable that Apple could release two versions of the iPhone as previouslysuggested by other reports, it is very unlikely that the company would drop the iPhone name for the larger phone given the iconic reputation of the brand.

The report adds that Apple’s next-generation phones will once again be assembled at primary supplier Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.), with other suppliers including Cheng Uei Precision Industry and Simplo Technology also helping with production. Furthermore, the sapphire displays to be used in the 5.6-inch phone are said to come from new Apple partner GT Advanced, which was reported to be gearing up for massive production of devices with sapphire displays earlier this month.

Apple has been experimenting with a range of screen sizes for the next-generation iPhone since early 2013, with size rumors varying from 4.7 to 5.7 inches. Last week, the South China Morning Post stated that the company would be launching two new iPhones with larger flat sapphire displays in September, while The Korea Herald reported that the iPhone 6 would adopt a “bezel-free” display.

In addition to a new display, other reports have indicated that the iPhone 6 will feature a slimmer profile due to thinner and lighter backlights and a 10-megapixel or higher camerawith an improved filter. The iPhone 6 is generally expected to arrive in the same September-October timeframe seen in recent years.

Video Shows ‘iPad Pro’ Running a Full Version of OS X

A concept video of a 13-inch “iPad Pro” running a full version of OS X has been posted by Italian consulting company SET Solution (via Funky Space Monkey). The iPad in the video is depicted as having a large form factor with very thin bezels, and is shown displaying OS X Mountain Lion with touch controls. The video also shows off the ability to easily connect an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse to the iPad, enabling a full desktop-like environment.

The possibility of Apple combining OS X and iOS into one unified platform has been a popular topic of discussion recently, as both have begun to share a common sense of design principles. However, an interview with Apple executives Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi inMacworld last month revealed that the company sees the combination iOS and OS X as a “non-goal”, with the former saying that the effort would be a “waste of energy” and the latter saying that Apple is focused on building the best products for unique purposes.

Despite this public dismissal, J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz predicted earlier this month that Apple is indeed working on a platform that combines OS X and iOS, which is termed as “iAnywhere.” Specifically, the analyst states that the combo operating system would work in tandem with an iOS device docked to a secondary display, running as a full-blown computer. Various other companies have experimented with dual operating systems and other hybrid solutions in the past, but mostly to no acclaim from the general public.

Overall, it is unlikely that Apple will debut a tablet running a full version of OS X as seen in the video or a combo operating system anytime soon. However, recent reports do point to Apple releasing a 12.9-inch iPad running a next-generation version of iOS sometime in the future, with a launch projected for late this year or early next year.

Apple Winding Down iPad 2 Production After Three-Year Run

Apple is winding down production of the iPad 2 as customer interest in the legacy device dwindles, according to a report from AppleInsider. First introduced in early 2011, the iPad 2 has remained in Apple’s product lineup as a lower-price option even as newer iPad models have been discontinued.

According to people familiar with Apple’s plans, the company has made the decision to ramp down iPad 2 production given that customers are resoundingly shifting purchases towards its more modern and capable iPads, namely the iPad mini and iPad Air.

Apple continues to sell 16 GB iPad 2 models priced at $399 for Wi-Fi only and $529 for Wi-Fi + Cellular for the time being, coming in $100 lower than corresponding iPad Air models. There is no word yet, however, on just when Apple plans to stop selling the iPad 2 as its stocks wind down.

iPad 2
The iPad 2 remained popular even up until the launch of the iPad Air, with educational institutions and other specialized markets preferring the device for a combination of its lower price and its compatibility with numerous accessories through the legacy 30-pin dock connector. But with the introduction of the dramatically thinner iPad Air and Retina display-equipped iPad mini late last year, sales of the iPad 2 dropped dramatically and the company has apparently decided that continued production is not worthwhile.

Apple Likely to Slim Down iPhone and iPad with Thinner and Lighter Backlights

As Apple continues its quest to make its iOS devices thinner and lighter, the company will take advantage of advancements in LED backlighting technology to shift to thinner components for the iPhone 6 and upcoming iPad models, according to a report fromLEDinside, a division of research firm TrendForce.

New iPhoen iPad
The report notes that a thinner design will see Apple shifting from 0.6 mm thick side-view LED backlights to 0.4 mm thick modules, but also questionably claims that the iPhone 6 will arrive in June. The iPhone 6 is generally expected to arrive in the same September-October timeframe seen in recent years.

According to sources from Apple supply chain, the iPhone 6 is likely to be released in June 2014, and will have larger monitor size of 4.7”. Industry insiders also projected the iPhone 6 will have a much lighter frame, which will lead to upgrades in LED backlight specs. In the previous generation, the iPhone used 0.6t side-view type LED, in contrast the new iPhone will probably be adopting 0.4t side-view type LED.

Apple has been rumored to be increasing display size for the iPhone 6, and whileLEDinside‘s report only mentions a 4.7-inch model, a number of other claims have included an even larger model at 5.5-5.7 inches. Larger displays will undoubtedly lead to larger device bodies, but that extra height and width could give Apple more room to spread out components and reduce device thickness from the current 7.6 mm of the iPhone 5s, and thinner backlights could aid that goal in an industry where fractions of a millimeter count.

LEDinside claims that similar changes are coming for the iPad, particularly with a rumored12-inch model. According to the report, new iPads will see their backlights shift to 0.6 mm thick modules from the current 0.8 mm components.

Apple Will Launch Two New iPhones?

Apple will reportedly release two versions of its next-generation iPhone featuring 4.7 and 5.5-inch sapphire screens in September, reports the South China Morning Post. Citing industry insiders who have “seen the prototypes,” the publication also states that both phones will feature a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch (PPI) compared to the 326 PPI currently found on the displays of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
Furthermore, the Hong Kong-based newspaper adds that the new devices will feature a flat screen instead of a curved screen as suggested by prior reports, and that Apple will be discontinuing the iPhone 5c in favor of an iPhone 5s made of lower-cost materials.

two size of iphone 6

Apple has been experimenting with a range of screen sizes for the next-generation iPhone since early 2013, with size rumors varying from 4.7 to 5.7 inches. The Korea Heraldreported yesterday that the iPhone 6 would adopt a “bezel-free” display.

It was also reported last week that GT Advanced, the company that has partnered with Apple to open a plant in Mesa, Arizona, was gearing up to mass produce sapphire displays meant for the iPhone 6. While another report yesterday said that Apple’s initial sapphire production would target the iWatch instead of the next-generation iPhone, the volume of raw material and equipment the company is purchasing would suggest plans to manufacture approximately 200 million 5-inch sapphire displays to meet iPhone demand.