Apple's push to make iOS more connected to other devices has made the upcoming iOS 8 a friendlier OS for media sharing. Part of the new capabilities includes making it so AirPlay no longer requires a Wi-Fi connection. Under its current setup, AirPlay links an iPhone or iPad to Apple TV by connecting all devices to the same Wi-Fi network. However in iOS 8, the connection is now direct. Finally getting on the peer-to-peer bandwagon, iOS will soon be able to connect devices and put your family photos or other media content on a bigger screen.
The HTC One M8 will be available in two new color options beginning Friday, June 5. Verizon Wireless today announced that it will start selling the most recent HTC smartphone in Glamour Red or Amber Gold. This raises the total number of color options at Verizon to four, including the original options of Gunmetal Gray and Glacial Silver. The carrier is also announcing a Father's Day smartphone sale that will take $100 off the purchase price of any phone costing $199.99 or more, meaning the new M8 models can be purchased for only $99.
Apple touted Wi-Fi calling as one of the features that it would bring to iPhone users with the release of iOS 8. T-Mobile US has since announced that it will offer iOS users the chance to place calls over Wi-Fi rather than rely on their cellular connection. T-Mobile already enables this feature on Android phones, so millions of people are have long been able to make phone calls even when the cellular network in an area is not very strong, particularly indoors. The introduction of Wi-Fi Calling in iOS 8 will increase the share of supported devices to over 90 percent of smartphones on T-Mobile's network.
Apple has announced that the next version of iOS 8 will include predictive text. The predictive text feature will offer suggestions as someone types based on probability of the next word. Someone typing, "Would you like to have dinner" would logically then see "and a movie" as the next series of suggested words to insert. It is also personalizes suggestions based on the user, so someone might see "and a drink" if they type that more often. Words are suggested based on user history and interaction with different people. Apple plans to make it available for a number of languages, including English (American, Canadian, and British), Portuguese (Brazilian and Portuguese), French, and Mandarin, among others.
Today is the day that Apple removes the veil from what it's been working on for the past year. Will we see a bigger iPhone? Will an iWatch be announced? Will the connected home be showcased? Probably no on at least 2 of the 3, but we'll definitely see several updates to iOS 8 today. Apple has announced that it will live stream the announcement begining at 10 AM Pacific, which is 1PM ET and 5PM GMT. The stream will be available at Apple's website for Safari 4 or later on OS X, iOS 4.2, and Apple TV.
BlackBerry has announced updates for the Android and iPhone versions of its BBM app that should make accessing the messaging client easier for new users and contacts. New users will see a shorter sign-up page that requires only a name, email address, and password to get started. When it comes time to connect with others, users will no longer need to trade PIN invites. It will be possible to add new contacts by sending an email invite and having the other person click a link. I cited the friending process, which BlackBerry calls "cumbersome and complicated," as the Download for iPhone // Android
Comixology was acquired by Amazon months ago, and the digital comic book distribution app is following in the footsteps of its parent company by offering a daily free download to users of its app. With the new "Summer Reading List" promotion, a free comic will be delivered each day from now until Saturday, June 14. Users are not able to choose which title is available, so they may get Batman Detective #871 (Monday) or today's offering of My Little Pony: Pony Tales Vol. 1. One comic is made available for 24 hours and users can request to be notified when they launch at the dedicated Comixology page.
Sonos and Google took their sweet time before they finally introduced Play Music on the Sonos wireless streaming system weeks ago. Now the two companies are announcing a special promotion that will let new users enjoy their connection for several months. From now until July 5, 2014, anyone who purchases any new Sonos Wireless HiFi system will receive a free 6-month of Google Play Music All Access. Sonos buyers will not have to pay the $9.99 monthly subscription price until six months pass, at which point they will be automatically billed on a monthly basis. The deal is open only to new customers who have not yet had a trial of Google Play Music; more information is available at sonos.com/promo.
Anyone who loves metal phones and wearables can kill two birds with one stone with a new deal offered at AT&T. The two companies have alerted us that you can now purchase an HTC One M8 and then save $50 when purchasing a Fitbit One or Fitbit Flex. That's a 50-percent price drop on either fitness activity tracker. The HTC One M8 can be purchased on AT&T for $199 on a two-year agreement. In case you missed it the first time, my One M8 review finds that it's a phenomenal smartphone.
We already know practically everything there is to know about the LG G3 hardware thank to the specs list that leaked out a few days ago. However, we still needed clarity on two things that have since been confirmed. When an attendee of LG's secret meeting shared photos from the event showing that the LG G3 would have a 3,000 mAh battery, it did not say whether it was removable or embedded. The G2 had an embedded battery that disappointed users who like to have an extra battery to swap in and extend battery life, but it appears that the G3 will not present that challenge.