Just a week after Facebook added group management to its Messenger app, the social network is out with yet another update to the messaging service: free calls for everyone.
The feature allows you to call your Facebook friends who also have the app over WiFi for free (you can call over cellular as well, but this uses data, of course). Free calling is especially beneficial to users who communicate internationally as calling rates tend to get pricey in that area.
Messaging threads now include a phone icon for prompting calls from the app, and the actual phone user interface resembles the native iOS Phone UI prior to iOS 7.1 introducing a tweaked design to the Phone app.
Facebook-owned Whatsapp is poised to introduce VOIP support in an upcoming update as well. Screenshots of Whatsapp in-app calling leaked earlier this year.
Facebook Messenger 4.1 is available for free on the App Store.
Apple has announced that it’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference will begin this year on 2nd June, running for five days.
Apple today announced that it will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) June 2 through June 6 at San Francisco’s Moscone West. At this year’s five-day conference, developers from around the world will learn about the future of iOS and OS X®, giving them the latest tools and technologies to continue creating the most innovative apps for the millions of iOS and Mac® customers worldwide. WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions, over 1,000 Apple engineers, hands-on labs to help developers integrate new technologies and fine tune their apps, as well as the Apple Design Awards which showcase the best apps from the past year …
An overview of the sessions shows that they cover design, app frameworks, services, location & motion, graphics & games, media, Core OS and tools & performance.
We can expect to see the official unveiling of iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, and likely at last find out Apple’s plans for the next-generation MacBook Air. There has been speculation regarding a 12-inch Retina model replacing the current 11.6-inch non-Retina machine. We may also hear about new MacBook Pros.
At last year’s conference, Apple announced the Haswell MacBook Air models and of course the all-new design of the Mac Pro. It also unveiled iTunes Radio and iWork for iCloud.
Developers will have until 10am PDT on 7th April to apply for tickets via Apple’s WWDC site. For the first time this year, tickets will be randomly allocated, as with Google’s I/O conference, with the lucky few notified by 5pm the same day. In previous years, tickets were sold on a first-come, first-served basis, with all of last year’s slots gone within the first three minutes.
If you don’t manage to get a ticket, Apple is for the first time offering live streaming of the State of the Union session – the keynote for developers – and the Apple Design awards. Videos from other sessions will, as usual, be made available later.
Apple Worldwide Developers Conference Kicks Off June 2 at Moscone West in San Francisco
Developers Can Apply for WWDC Tickets Starting Today
CUPERTINO, California—April 3, 2014—Apple® today announced that it will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) June 2 through June 6 at San Francisco’s Moscone West. At this year’s five-day conference, developers from around the world will learn about the future of iOS and OS X®, giving them the latest tools and technologies to continue creating the most innovative apps for the millions of iOS and Mac® customers worldwide. WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions, over 1,000 Apple engineers, hands-on labs to help developers integrate new technologies and fine tune their apps, as well as the Apple Design Awards which showcase the best apps from the past year.
Developers can apply for tickets via the WWDC website (developer.apple.com/wwdc) now through Monday, April 7 at 10:00 a.m. PDT, and tickets will be issued to attendees through random selection. Developers will know their status by Monday, April 7 at 5:00 p.m. PDT. There will also be 200 Student Scholarships available, giving students around the world the chance to earn a free ticket (developer.apple.com/wwdc/students). This year the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and its alliance partners will help promote scholarships to female engineers and coders.
“We have the most amazing developer community in the world and have a great week planned for them,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Every year the WWDC audience becomes more diverse, with developers from almost every discipline you can imagine and coming from every corner of the globe. We look forward to sharing with them our latest advances in iOS and OS X so they can create the next generation of great apps.”
WWDC 2014 activities include:
More than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers on a wide range of topics for developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and OS X technologies;
more than 1,000 Apple engineers supporting over 100 hands-on labs and events to provide developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS and OS X technologies in their apps;
the latest innovations, features and capabilities of iOS and OS X, and how to enhance an app’s functionality, performance, quality and design;
the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iOS and OS X developers from around the world—last year more than 60 countries were represented;
a new series of get togethers for attendees focused on particular topics with special guest speakers and activities;
engaging and inspirational lunchtime sessions with leading minds and influencers from the worlds of technology, science and entertainment; and
Apple Design Awards which recognize iPhone®, iPad® and Mac apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.
Monday’s State of the Union session and the Apple Design Awards will be live streamed via the WWDC website giving more developers around the world access to the latest information in real time. Videos from all technical sessions will be posted throughout the week on the Apple Developer website (developer.apple.com/wwdc/videos) and will be available to all registered developers.
Please go to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2014 website (developer.apple.com/wwdc) to apply for a ticket, as well as for updates and more information.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
There are rumors that Christian Bale would play Steve Jobs in the good Jobs movie—written by Aaron Sorkin. But who can play the awesome Steve Wozniak? He’s one of my personal heroes and I’m having a hard time imagining it. So I asked him about his opinion. Here’s his reply:
The problem is that actors and celebrities are not my thing. I pay little attention to them and don’t remember many of their names. It’s easier to think of which actor I might want to play other people. When it’s yourself, it’s very hard to look at others and judge it that well. Also, my personality has shifted a great deal since the time frame of this movie and now. I would hope that they find an actor who can play a lot of inner thinking but quietness on the outside. A secret prankster inventor who shuns any limelight for personal reasons.
I’m sure that others will have many good suggestions but I trust the casting department. They are very careful in their choices for such a high budget movie so I trust them. There is no way to expect perfection. It’s like buying a new car and constantly protecting it from dents. I prefer to let the dents come and call it ‘character’.
I like to joke that I read about myself (or watch movies) to find out who I am and who I have to be, which is a way to see a lot of error but not get upset. Happiness = smiles – frowns and this minimizes frowning. I probably won’t have any judgment of the selection, or of the film, until the first time I see it.
Margaret Rhodes is an associate editor for Fast Company magazine, where she produces Wanted and covers product design.
The most advanced mobile OS keeps advancing.
iOS 7.1 is packed with interface refinements, bug fixes, improvements, and new features. Apple CarPlay introduces a better way to use iPhone while driving. And you can now control exactly how long Siri listens and more. Getting the update is easy. Go to Settings. Select General. And tap Software Update.
Now Siri knows when to stop listening.
Manually control when Siri listens by holding down the Home button while you speak and releasing it when you’re done.
Set Camera to take great pictures.
Automatically enable HDR on iPhone 5s.
Updated look and feel.
Experience the newest refinements to the iOS 7 interface.
See Calendar events better than ever.
Glance at your events in the new Month view.
Bug fixes and other improvements
- Touch ID fingerprint recognition is improved.
- An occasional Home screen crash bug has been fixed.
- iPhone 4 users will enjoy improved responsiveness and performance.
Here’s a rundown of all the design tweaks you’ll be getting on your iPhone today:
Calendar Is More Useable
Tweaked Control Center
New HDR Auto Mode
Burst Photo Uploads
New Call Dialer
New Power Off UI
The Wall Street Journal on Friday published a detailed excerpt from Yukari Iwatani Kane’s upcoming book, “Haunted Empire.” The book promises to take a close look at Apple in the post-Steve Jobs era, with the excerpt itself focusing on the management style of Tim Cook, the man charged with keeping Apple at the forefront of the innovation curve.
From the get-go, Kane writes that Cook brought a no-nonsense approach to Apple’s operations team.
From the start of his Apple tenure, Cook set colossally high expectations. He wanted the best price, the best delivery, the best yield, the best everything. “I want you to act like we are a $20 billion company,” he told the procurement team-even though Apple then had only about $6 billion in annual revenues and was barely eking out a profit. They were playing in a new league now.
A notorious by-the-numbers man, Cook has an affinity for cold hard data and expected the utmost attention to detail in corporate meetings. When presentations didn’t align with his expectations, he wasn’t shy about hiding his disdain.
Meetings with Cook could be terrifying. He exuded a Zenlike calm and didn’t waste words. “Talk about your numbers. Put your spreadsheet up,” he’d say as he nursed a Mountain Dew. (Some staffers wondered why he wasn’t bouncing off the walls from the caffeine.) When Cook turned the spotlight on someone, he hammered them with questions until he was satisfied. “Why is that?” “What do you mean?” “I don’t understand. Why are you not making it clear?” He was known to ask the same exact question 10 times in a row.
And in stark contrast to Jobs, who had a penchant for flying off the handle at times, Cook relied on the “power of silence.” Kane relays a story from an Apple meeting when an underling, unable to answer one of Cook’s questions, was greeted with a stare and a prolonged awkward silence.
Unperturbed, Cook didn’t move a finger as he focused his eyes on his squirming target. Sometimes he would take an energy bar from his pocket while he waited for an answer, and the hush would be broken only by the crackling of the wrapper.
Kane also adds more color to one of the few things we already knew about Cook, namely that he’s nothing short of a workaholic.
Cook demonstrated the same level of austerity and discipline in his life as he did in his work. He woke up at 4:30 or 5 a.m. and hit the gym several times a week. He ate protein bars throughout the day and had simple meals like chicken and rice for lunch.
His stamina was inhuman. He could fly to Asia, spend three days there, fly back, land at 7 a.m. at the airport and be in the office by 8:30, interrogating someone about some numbers.
There’s much more to digest in the full book excerpt, which is well worth checking out in its entirety.