Apple stops letting iOS beta testers publish unfair app reviews

22 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

15 new iOS 9 features that are rocking our world.

It’s not at all fair to developers when people using prerelease, unfinished versions of iOS post negative app reviews in the App Store. Until now, iPhone and iPad owners running pre-release software have been able to moan about these unexplained crashes and random restarts via Apple’s App Store review system.Apple upset a significant portion of its user base (case in point: the excellent email below) when it disabled Home Sharing for iOS devices in iOS 8.4.

App makers typically focus on optimizing their software for the latest commercial release of Apple’s operating system — currently iOS 8.4 — and then make the necessary updates and changes as a new major iOS update approaches every fall. Case in point: Apple doesn’t recommend you install the beta version of its upcoming iOS 9 mobile operating system onto your everyday iPhone or iPad, but I did. But as Apple Insider notes, Apple has inexplicably allowed iOS beta users to publish reviews in years past, when the pool of testers was mostly limited to app developers and hardcore enthusiasts. Apple opened the beta program for iOS to the public (with some stipulations) for the first time this year, having previously kept its in-development software strictly for those with a developer account. The reinstatement isn’t really a surprise — Apple VP Eddy Cue had publicly promised to bring back the feature before; most likely, it was disabled while Apple hashed out an agreement with music labels.

Thought leaders from the biggest brands and most disruptive companies will share winning growth strategies on the most pressing challenges marketing leaders face today.] The new Watch OS 2 beta continues to refine and bug-fix the OS that will bring native apps, Wi-Fi access, and other improvements to the Apple Watch. Now that we’ve had the chance to play with the iOS 9 public beta, here are some of our favorite features—both big and small—that have changed our lives for the better. Apple has had the good sense to shut down app reviews for anyone using prerelease builds and now displays a message saying “this feature isn’t available” and that users “can’t write reviews while using a prerelease version of iOS.” Of course, this also means those beta testers can’t post positive reviews for new apps they’ve downloaded that are working fine. New features to iOS9 in general are major improvements to Siri and search, tablet multitasking and a redesigned News app, among a variety of other features. The software allows those plucky enough to download it to take Apple’s new Maps app for a spin, along with the revamped multitasking menu, Notes app, Proactive Siri and Split View for iPad. µ

This month, Mac Stories expressed concern that increasing numbers of beta users are able to leave reviews — and, in particular, negative ones — so it’s good to see that Apple is listening and reacting. Even if you wait until the full release is out later this year, you’ll still get these great new features: First impressions go a long way, and Apple’s Siri entered this world to a chorus of criticism about things she couldn’t do particularly well. For instance, Siri can now remind you about emails, websites, text messages, and more simply by saying, “Remind me about this.” You can add a time or a place to the end of that request, and Siri will prompt you about that particular topic exactly at the right moment. El Capitan, which was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, will bring split-screen functionality and refined search to Apple laptops and desktop computers, among other things.

When you touch the keyboard with two fingers, the letters fade away and the whole space turns into a touchpad, making it possible to select areas of text without having to use the tiny in-line controls of old. This new virtual touchpad takes some getting used to (and maybe refinement on Apple’s end) but it will help turn your iPad into a more productive machine than it was under iOS 8 and earlier. So, whether it’s in Slide Over mode (which displays a secondary app in a drawer on the righthand side), Split View (which runs two apps side-by-side — on iPad Air 2, only), or Picture-in-Picture (works like it sounds, allegedly), you need an A7 chip or newer to enjoy it.

Beginning with the much-maligned Maps app, the company added mass transit options in major U.S. cities such as San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C., as well as international locales like Berlin, London, and Shanghai. Like iOS 9’s Android-like upgrades, this much-needed improvement feels too-little-too-late for me, since Evernote has been integrated into my daily life for years. But for casual Apple users (admittedly, the bulk of them), the ability to add photos, save websites, and insert checklists should be a welcome addition. As a news junkie (it’s an occupational hazard), I thought Apple News was nice, but it wasn’t going to make me scrap my current, continually curated means of reading news, though I imagine it would be nice for more casual readers when they’re bored. (Side note: Has anyone actually been bored since the advent of the smartphone?) In addition to those major moves, iOS 9 has several subtle tweaks that make a big difference. This isn’t hugely useful yet (previously the payment service activated when you tapped the phone on a payment terminal), but as the new Apple Wallet app adds loyalty cards to its functionality, you’ll want to be able to access those before the cashier asks for them.

And when the iPhone is unlocked, double-clicking the home button still pulls up the app switcher, but it’s now more fluid-moving and easier to use than iOS 8’s awkward app/contacts mashup. That can be seen in the iPhone suggesting apps based on your daily routine (though it never recommended any to me) to my favorite new feature: The phone mining your emails to guess the identity of callers not in your Contacts.

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