This week, AppAdvice uncovered some big news about iOS that should make a lot of long-time iPhone/iPod touch and iPad users happy. Here’s a look back at the week that was.
Top news stories
Just weeks away from a new Apple Watch?
It isn’t over on encryption
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) didn’t need Apple to access the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone handset, instead turning to an Israeli-based firm to get the job done. But this doesn’t mean the battle between the U.S. government and Apple over encryption is over.
The FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) is continuing to pressure Apple into “helping” in two other cases. One involves an iPhone 5s in New York while the other is an iPhone 6 in Massachusetts.
To date, Apple has refused to help governments open encrypted iOS devices.
Removal tool for native iOS apps is coming
AppAdvice was the first to report that iTunes metadata points to a big change coming in “iOS 10.”
Apple has added two new keys labeled “isFirstParty” and “isFirstPartyHideableApp.” These two new values started showing up a few weeks ago on every app in the App Store. The iTunes metadata is where all the information about an app is stored. It shows things like the date it was released, the App Store category it’s in, its size, etc. The new keys suggest the ability to remove apps such as Stocks, Compass, and Voice Messages is coming very soon.
Apple Watch news
It looks like the next-generation Apple Watch could arrive in June, not September, as originally thought. The “Apple Watch 2” could be much thinner than the originally, according to Apple analyst Brian White, of Wall Street firm Drexel Hamilton.
Who’s likely to buy the next wearable device? Up to 60 percent of current Apple Watch owners plan to upgrade.
On the App Store
Reddit finally releases an iOS app
After acquiring the popular client Alien Blue, Reddit has, at long last, launched its own official app for iPhone. Before downloading the app, be sure to see our list of pros and cons.
Other apps and games making news:
- You’ll soon be able to play through ‘Fear the Walking Dead‘ on iOS
- WhatsApp Messenger launches end-to-end encryption for all users
- Facebook for iOS adds VoiceOver feature to help blind users ‘see’ photos
- Be prepared with Air Bubbles: Air Quality in Real Time
- Why did Mickey cross the road? Find out in Disney Crossy Road
- Happy, sad or in between, A Video Meme App has what you need
Games in review
Each week, Christine Chan reviews new App Store titles
This week’s reviews feature some big waves, a powerful ninja, and a TimeSwapper.
Reviewed this week
Here’s another reason to purchase one of Sphero’s ultra-cute BB-8 droids. According to the folks behind the app-powered BB-8, an update allows the device to interact with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which was recently released.
Aside from this latest (and potentially greatest) feature, Sphero’s BB-8 can also explore your home, it can be used via an iPhone remote control, and it offers a neat holographic messaging feature. As Sphero explains in the app’s release notes, “this is the droid you’re looking for.”
Other accessory news: