Apple just had a mind-blowing quarter. To put it in perspective, $18 billion is the greatest profit earned by any company in a single quarter. Ever.
Microsoft has just released their Skype Translator Preview for Windows 8.1, which uses some pretty incredible advances in machine learning to translate conversations in real time. Kind of like the first step toward a real, honest-to-goodness Babel fish from the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, if you will. Over 40 languages will be supported, but the preview is including English-Spanish translations to start. Pretty quick turnaround from only having the tech demo in May. And I’ve got to admit, given what they show in the heartwarming video that’s included, it looks to already be quite impressive at this stage.
Workflow just came out for iOS, optimized for iPhone and iPad, and you should probably go and download it now.
What is it, you ask? Workflow is a new $2.99 app (for a limited time, as it will usually cost $4.99) that enables you to take actions and put them together in interesting ways with various options in order to generate your own workflows. If that sounds familiar, perhaps you’ve heard of OS X’s Automator?
These workflows are brilliantly illustrated by a GIF-creating and sending tutorial that you go through when you first open the app. Additionally, the app has a gallery of featured, and extremely helpful, workflows that you can download and use (and use them as great examples of how to create your own). These include a few that I’ve already set up (with their own Home screen icons no less!), like Tip Calculator, Share Location, and Cross-Post.
I’m only 15 minutes into using the app, but I’m already in love. Can’t wait to see what I, and others around the web, can do with it! If you haven’t already, definitely go get it.
UPDATE: You should also check out Federico Viticci’s Workflow review, and scroll to the bottom to grab his excellent shared workflows.
Yesterday, Apple made WatchKit available to developers, allowing the creation of iPhone apps that send actionable notifications, “Glances”, and apps to the Apple Watch.
Apple has gone all out with the release of WatchKit, offering iOS 8.2 beta, Xcode 6.2 beta, the Apple Watch Human Interface Guidelines (HIG), a 28 minute video, ample documentation, and much more.
As usual, Frederico Viticci has done a great job of collecting information and reactions from around the web concerning the release of WatchKit, which you can see here.
Interesting nuggets of information include the size of the screens, 272×340 and 312×390, the naming and release of Apple’s own custom font for Apple Watch, dubbed San Francisco, and the promise that the ability to develop fully-native Apple Watch apps is coming “later next year”. I can wait to see what developers create between now and the Apple Watch launch next year!
A pleasant surprise in iOS 8.1.1, reported by Rene Ritchie at iMore:
iOS 8.1.1 not only provides bug fixes and performance improvements, especially for iPhone 4s and iPad 2, but it also comes with a nice surprise for all iPad owners — it returns about half a gigabyte of storage space.
After hearing about it from several readers last night, I tested it on a couple iPads in my possession, and in both cases post-update storage availability grew considerably. My iPad mini 3 it went from 7.5 GB remaining to 7.9 GB remaining. My iPad Air 2 went from 40.9 GB to 42.8 GB.
This is most especially welcome on all of those 16 GB iOS devices out there, including all of those newly shipping entry-level iPhones and iPads (which is a shame in and of itself, as noted by John Gruber and others). Once you start taking photos and videos and start installing apps, that is precious little space, so half a gigabyte can go a long way.
The incredible amount of access in The Verge’s tour of the labs where Apple tests the durability of its devices seems to indicate that Apple’s willing to go all-out against the current overblown media hellstorm that is “Bendgate”.
I for one can’t wait for everyone to forget about this in a week or two.
This game is as addictive and enjoyable as it is uniquely and beautifully built. If you have an iPhone or iPad, do yourself a favor and get this game.