Portrait Camera App ‘Focos’ Gains Real Lens Optical Effects and Improved Shooting Mode

Portrait Mode photo editor Focos received an update today that should pique the interest of dual-lens camera iPhone owners. The app recently made our end-of-year best iOS app list for its impressive granular aperture and bokeh adjustment tools, but version 1.2 builds on the existing feature set by adding the ability to apply real lens optical effects to depth images.

The update introduces a redesigned interface layout to accommodate the new preset lenses, which include Olympus Zuiko, Helios 44, CarlZeiss Jena, CarlZeiss Otus, Leica Noctilux, Minolta STF, Minolta RF250, A1, A2, A3, and A4.



In addition to the above lenses, users can create custom presets for images with depth information by combining multiple lens settings and saving them under a recognizable name. Fotos’ library of presets can also be re-organized for easy access from the editing menu.

Elsewhere in this update, a tilt-shift effect has been added to the app’s range of filters, offering users another level of control over the plane of focus when widening aperture, while a new ratio of 2.25:1 can be found in the cropping menu.

A torchlight has also been added to Focus’ built-in camera mode, which should help when taking Portrait Mode photos in low light, and the app now supports Bluetooth for taking photos remotely.

Lastly, a look at the general settings screen reveals an added ability to choose between JPEG, HEIC, and TIFF export formats, as well as a simple language selector, which now includes Persian.

Focos supports iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, and is a free download from the App Store, although many pro features are behind a paywall. It costs $0.99 per month or $5.99 per year to unlock them, but there’s also a $9.99 lifetime access purchase option. [Direct Link]

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: I Don’t Believe in Overuse of Technology

Apple this morning announced the expansion of its “Everyone Can Code” initiative to 70 educational institutions across Europe, and following the announcement, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at Harlow College in Essex, one of the schools that will adopt the new curriculum.

The Guardian shared several of Cook’s comments, which covered overuse of technology and boundaries for children.

Cook said he believes there are concepts that can’t be taught using technology, and in many courses, technology shouldn’t dominate.

“I don’t believe in overuse [of technology]. I’m not a person that says we’ve achieved success if you’re using it all the time,” he said. “I don’t subscribe to that at all.”

“There are still concepts that you want to talk about and understand. In a course on literature, do I think you should use technology a lot? Probably not.”

According to Cook, Apple cares about children out of the classroom, a topic that’s notable as Apple investors recently urged Apple to do more to protect children from smartphone addiction.

Apple in early January said in a statement that it thinks deeply about how its products are used and the impact they have on people, including children. Apple takes its responsibility to protect children “very seriously,” and has promised more robust parental controls for iOS devices in the future.

Though he does not have children of his own, Cook says in his own personal life, he “put some boundaries” on his nephew. “There here are some things that I won’t allow; I don’t want them on a social network,” he said.

On the topic of learning to code, Cook spoke passionately, as he has done several times in the past. Learning to code, he says, is more important than learning a foreign language.

Cook said: “I think if you had to make a choice, it’s more important to learn coding than a foreign language. I know people who disagree with me on that. But coding is a global language; it’s the way you can converse with 7 billion people.”

Cook’s full commentary, which covers diversity, coding at an early age, and the importance of the press, can be read over at The Guardian.

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Apple Receives FCC Approval for HomePod, Suggesting a Launch Could Come Soon

Ahead of the promised “early 2018” launch of the HomePod, Apple has received official FCC approval for the smart speaker. Now that FCC approval has been obtained, Apple is free to begin selling the device at any time.

All devices that use communications technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi must be submitted to the United States Federal Communications Commission to ensure compliance with federal regulations before they’re eligible to be sold in the United States. That FCC approval has been obtained suggests the HomePod will launch in the near future.



For comparison’s sake, Apple received FCC approval for the iPhone X on October 4, just under one month before the device was released to the public on November 3.

Today’s FCC clearance of the HomePod follows a rumor earlier this week suggesting HomePod supplier Inventec has already started shipping HomePod units to Apple. Apple is reportedly set to receive “about 1 million” HomePod devices and an industry source that spoke to the Taipei Times, the source of the rumor, has said that the HomePod is coming “soon.”

Apple originally planned to release the HomePod in December, but the company ended up requiring additional development time, delaying its debut until 2018. Apple has said the HomePod will ship out to customers in the US, UK, and Australia in “early 2018.”



Early 2018, by Apple’s historical definition, is something of a broad window. Apple considers “early 2018” to be the period between January and April, so it’s been tough to narrow down the prospective launch date of the HomePod. Given the shipment rumors and the FCC approval, however, we may see the device in late January or early February rather than later in the year.

Like many new Apple products, rumors suggest initial supplies of the HomePod could be constrained at launch. Inventec is expecting revenue from the HomePod to be “limited” during Q1 2018 due to a low quantity of HomePod devices available for shipment.

Related Roundup: HomePod

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How to Turn Any Webpage Into a PDF on iOS

On iOS devices, there’s a feature that lets you save any webpage as a PDF, so you can add edits, annotate it, read it offline, share it with friends, and more. Saving a webpage as a PDF is simple enough to do, but if you haven’t done it before, you might not know the feature exists.

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Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open up Safari.
  2. Navigate to the webpage you want to save.
  3. Tap on the Share button, which is the square with the upwards arrow.
  4. On the bottom bar, swipe to the left several times until you see “Create PDF.”
  5. Tap “Create PDF.”

From there, you can choose to edit the PDF using markup tools by tapping on the pen icon on the top right of the screen, or you can print it, save it, or share it by using the Share icon at the bottom of the screen.
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Apple May Replace Some iPhone 6 Plus Models Needing Whole-Device Repairs With iPhone 6s Plus Through March

If you have a damaged iPhone 6 Plus that qualifies for a whole-device replacement, Apple may replace it with an iPhone 6s Plus through March, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers today.



Apple specifically states that “orders for whole unit service inventory of some iPhone 6 Plus models may be substituted to an iPhone 6s Plus until the end of March 2018.” MacRumors confirmed the memo’s authenticity with multiple sources, who requested to remain anonymous due to their positions.

Apple doesn’t specify which iPhone 6 Plus models are eligible, nor does it provide a reason for the substitution, but it likely relates to Apple’s shortage of iPhone 6 Plus replacement batteries until late March to early April.

A previous internal document obtained by MacRumors states that Apple no longer manufactures the iPhone 6 Plus, so it likely has to reboot its production lines to replenish its supply of both the device itself and batteries, which would certainly take time. Apple did not respond to our request for comment.

It’s possible that some customers who have visited a Genius Bar recently opted for a whole-device replacement rather than waiting until March or April for a new battery, which may have depleted the little supply of iPhone 6 Plus replacement units that Apple had, but this is only speculation on our part.

Apple and most Apple Authorized Service Providers can replace an iPhone’s display, battery, speakers, rear camera, or Taptic Engine individually, while a defective Lightning connector, faulty logic board, and most other repairs are generally eligible for a whole-device replacement, our source said.

Your mileage may vary depending on the exact damage to your iPhone and the results of Apple’s diagnostic tests. Apple Support can be reached on the web or by scheduling a Genius Bar appointment. Apple Authorized Service Providers can be searched for on Apple’s Find Locations page under Service & Support.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6s
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone 8 (Neutral)

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Apple Says iOS 11 is Now Installed on 65% of Devices

iOS 11 is now installed on 65 percent of iOS devices, according to new statistics Apple shared yesterday on its App Store support page for developers.

That’s up six percentage points since December 5, when iOS 11 was installed on 59 percent of devices, and 13 percentage points since November 6, when iOS 11 was installed on 52 percent of devices.



28 percent of devices continue to use iOS 10, while earlier versions of iOS are installed on seven percent of iOS devices.

Since iOS 11 was released, its adoption rate has been quite a bit slower than iOS 10 adoption rates in 2017. In January of 2017, for example, iOS 10 was installed on 76 percent of iOS devices.

Apple has released several updates for iOS 11 since its September launch, but the operating system has also been plagued by bugs and security issues, which doesn’t appear to have helped adoption rates.

iOS 11.2.1 and iOS 11.2.2, the two latest iOS 11 updates, were both released to address major bugs and vulnerabilities. iOS 11.2.1 fixed a HomeKit bug that allowed for unauthorized access to HomeKit accessories, while iOS 11.2.2 introduced mitigations for the Spectre vulnerability impacting all modern processors.

iOS 11.2, released in early December, did bring some major new features to the operating system, like Apple Pay Cash and 7.5W Wireless Charging, but even that update doesn’t appear to have spurred a larger than normal growth in adoption rate.

Some iOS 11 users who were unhappy with the current version of iOS were also able to recently downgrade their operating systems when a brief oversight saw Apple signing older versions of iOS dating back to iOS 6.

Apple next week will introduce iOS 11.2.5, another update that introduces an important bug fix for an exploit that allows a malicious link to freeze the Messages app when received via text message.

Though iOS 11 adoption is slower than iOS 10 adoption was last year, it still radically outpaces adoption rates of the latest versions of Android on Android-supported devices. Just 0.7 percent of Android devices are running Android Oreo, the newest version of Android released in 2017. 26.3 percent of Android devices run a version of Nougat, released in 2016, and 28.6 percent of Android devices continue to run 2015’s Marshmallow.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 4.2.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 4.2.2 update to developers, 10 days after seeding the fourth beta and more than a month after releasing watchOS 4.2, an update that introduced support for Apple Pay Cash.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software update.



To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

We don’t yet know what features or improvements might be included in the watchOS 4.2.2 update, as no outward-facing changes were discovered in the first four betas.

It’s possible this update focuses mainly on bug fixes, and if that’s the case, we won’t know the extent of the changes until it sees a public release complete with release notes. Should new features be discovered in the fifth watchOS 4.2.2 beta, we’ll update this post.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update to developers, just a few days after seeding the fifth beta and more than a month after releasing macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, the second major update to the macOS High Sierra operating system.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.



It’s not yet clear what improvements the macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update will bring, but it’s likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren’t addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2.

It does offer additional fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities that were discovered and publicized in early January and fixed initially in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2.

The update also fixes a bug that allows the App Store menu in the System Preferences to be unlocked with any password.

The previous macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update focused solely on security fixes and performance improvements, with no new features introduced, and a supplemental update introduced a fix for the Spectre vulnerability.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Apple Seeds Seventh Beta of iOS 11.2.5 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the seventh beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2.5 update to developers, just a few days after seeding the sixth beta and more than a week after releasing iOS 11.2.2, an update designed to mitigate a serious hardware-based vulnerability called “Spectre.”

Registered developers can download the iOS 11.2.5 beta from Apple’s Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.



Early iOS 11.2.5 betas introduced a new feature letting Siri play daily news podcasts from MPR, Fox News, CNN, or The Washington Post when queried about the current news, but the feature was officially released in iOS 11.2.2 ahead of the iOS 11.2.5 update.

iOS 11.2.5 appears to address a bug that allowed a malicious link to freeze the Messages app on iOS devices. As of the sixth beta, the link in question no longer affects the Messages app.

It’s not clear what other new features, if any, will be introduced in the iOS 11.2.5. We didn’t discover other noticeable outward-facing changes in the first six iOS 11.2.5 betas, so it’s possible this update focuses mainly on bug fixes and security improvements aside from the Siri news update.

If that’s the case, we may not know the extent of what’s in the update until it sees a public release. Apple is supposed to be releasing an iCloud Messages feature that was pulled from the iOS 11 release, but there has been no indication of when we can expect iCloud Messages to be reintroduced.

Today’s beta appears to be the final golden master version of iOS 11.2.5 that will be released to the public next week.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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