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Apple releases iOS 11.2 with Apple Pay Cash, 7.5W Wireless Charging, Date Bug Fix

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iOS 11 Icon

Apple today released iOS 11.2 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The OTA update for iOS 11 brings in a bunch of new features and improvements; however, the unusual timing of the software update makes sense to say that it is likely intended to fix a major date bug that began affecting users beginning December 2. After all, this is the first major iOS update to be dropped on a weekend.

First spotted by Yoshimasa Niwa, the bug caused some iPhones running iOS 11.1.2 crash when receiving local notifications from third-party apps. (The bug doesn’t have a fancy name!)

The date bug is now fixed with this release of iOS 11. If you’re affected with the bug, then it would be better to turn off Notifications before proceeding to install the iOS 11.2 software update, as it can crash the Springboard while you’re waiting for the download to compete. The best way would be to enable DND before installing the update and disable it after you’re on iOS 11.2. Simple as that. Apple’s official comment on this can be viewed here.

Apple Pay Cash

Aside from the immediate bug fix, iOS 11.2 comes along Apple Pay Cash, a peer-to-peer mobile payment system that lets Apple users send and receive money between each other. Although Apple Pay Cash is mentioned in iOS 11.2 changelog, it doesn’t appear to be live as of writing this post. Assuming that some server-side work is yet to be done from Apple, we’re hoping to see the service go live early next week (when the software update was originally scheduled to air).

Faster Wireless Charging and more

iOS 11.2 also includes faster wireless charging, jumping from 5W wireless charging to 7.5W. It is supposed to reduce the wireless charging time, of course, on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. The software update also adds three new Live wallpapers for iPhone X, improves video camera stabilization, VoiceOver stability in some apps, and more. You can read iOS 11.2 full changelog right after the fold.

iOS 11.2 Full Changelog

Here’s what’s new in iOS 11.2, straight from Apple:

Apple Pay Cash (US Only)
● Send, request, and receive money from friends and family with Apple Pay in Messages or by asking Siri
Other improvements and fixes
● Adds support for faster wireless charging on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X with compatible third-party accessories
● Introduces three new Live wallpapers for iPhone X
● Improves video camera stabilization
● Adds support in Podcasts to automatically advance to the next episode from the same show
● Adds support in HealthKit for downhill snow sports distance as a data type
● Fixes an issue that could cause Mail to appear to be checking for new messages even when a download is complete
● Fixes an issue that could cause cleared Mail notifications from Exchange accounts to reappear
● Improves stability in Calendar
● Resolves an issue where Settings could open to a blank screen
● Fixes an issue that could prevent swiping to Today View or Camera from the Lock Screen
● Addresses an issue that could prevent Music
● Addresses an issue that could prevent Music controls from displaying on the Lock Screen
● Fixes an issue that could cause app icons to be arranged incorrectly on the Home Screen
● Addresses an issue that could prevent users from deleting recent photos when iCloud storage is exceeded
● Addresses an issue where Find My iPhone sometimes wouldn’t display a map
● Fixes an issue in Messages where the keyboard could overlap the most recent message
● Fixes an issue in Calculator where typing numbers rapidly could lead to incorrect results
● Addressed an issue where the keyboard could respond slowly
● Adds support for real-time text (RTT) phone calls for the deaf and hard of hearing
● Improves VoiceOver stability in Messages, Settings, App Store, and Music
● Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from announcing incoming Notifications

Happy Updating!

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Apps & Software

Twitter removes its official Mac app from the App Store

Twitter just killed off its official Mac app, ends support in a month.

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Twitter Social Media

Like the Twitter app on your macOS? Well, today’s news isn’t a good one for you, if your answer is yes. Twitter has pulled off the official Twitter for Mac app from the Mac App Store today.

In a tweet pushed from Twitter Support, the micro-blogging site announced that “starting today the Twitter for Mac app will no longer be available for download.” What appears to be the reason for the sudden demise of the Twitter for Mac app is the company’s efforts to provide a great Twitter experience that’s consistent across platforms. Simply put, use Twitter in your browser!

While this is for sure to make many Twitter users feel sad as the macOS client offered way better features over the browser version of Twitter, the move also means that we will be seeing improvements in the web version of the platform. Twitter for Mac will continue to have support for 30 more days, and after that, you won’t be able to use it at all.

“For the full Twitter experience on Mac, visit Twitter on web,” says Twitter.

Alternatives like Tweetbot and Tweeterific from third-party developers are a better option rather than using Twitter on the web. It comes at a cost though, unlike the official Twitter for Mac app.

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Google Maps for iOS adds one-tap access to commute information

The features arrived on Android last year.

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Google Maps for iOS update

Google has updated its Maps app for iOS. The latest release of Google Maps for iOS offers real-time commute information, with a three-sectioned bar at the bottom of the screen. Finding nearby restaurants and hotels, real-time traffic data, and transit information are now easier than ever.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen, and you’ll see three different tabs aligned together: Explore, Driving, and Transit. The very first, as the name suggests, helps you find nearby places for restaurants and hotels, while the latter two provide you with real-time traffic details and transit information, respectively.

Whether we like it or not, sometimes life just flies by. And in the moment, every minute counts. Just one minute can be the difference between catching the last train or walking home in the rain. Or getting to that new restaurant in time to snag the last table.

The company brought the same set of features on Android last year. It’s good to see the handy one-tap feature making its way to millions of iOS users, a year later though. Google Maps is available on the App Store for free, grab the latest update now!

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Microsoft Cortana now available on iPad

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Microsoft Cortana iPad

Microsoft has released Cortana for iPad. Cortana makes its iPad debut eight months after the smart assistant was available on iPhone last year. The iPad counterpart features a brand-new design for the larger screen with a much faster experience.

The Cortana digital assistant from Microsoft isn’t quite like Alexa or the Google Assistant, much like Siri, but is a Microsoft alternative for Siri — with enough limitations, thanks iOS. You can’t configure to replace Siri with Cortana (or any other assistant) on your iOS device, however.

The human interface is same as the iPhone counterpart, but with an interface optimized for larger screens and looks perfect on the iPad Pro line-up. Furthermore, the app now launches 20 percent faster on iOS devices.

Cortana can help you schedule appointments, set reminders, answer questions, alongside third-party integration with services like Netflix and Spotify. Microsoft Cortana is available on the App Store for free.

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