One of the key new features previewed in last week's iOS 9.3 beta is Night Shift. The basic premise is that blocking blue wavelengths of light after the sun has set improves sleep. This blue light is normally generated by iPhone, iPad and other mobile device screens, simulating sunlight. By reading iBooks in the evening or playing video games late into the night, circadian rhythms are disrupted. Night Shift addresses this problem, however it's by no means the first software to tackle the issue.
Apple has launched Swift.org to announce that the Swift language, debugger, supporting libraries, and package manager have been published under the Apache 2.0 license with a Runtime Library Exception. This means the source code is freely available on GitHub for anyone to build themselves, and developers can contribute to the project. Since its initial release in mid-2014, Apple has intended for Swift to become an open source programming language.
iOS 9 has brought the ability to install developer apps to the home screen without a jailbreak or paid developer account. While this process takes a few steps, it opens up a new world of third-party apps that can be installed without using the App Store. In order to install Xcode directly onto an iOS 9 device such as an iPhone, Mac OS X is required. Here are the steps needed to create a free developer account and start loading apps directly onto iOS 9:
iPhone owners in the Apple Beta Software Program with iOS 9 installed can easily update to the latest developer version (currently iOS 9 beta 4). This short process will install bleeding edge firmware features on the iOS 9 device, however the developer beta may encounter more problems or incompatibilities than the official public beta. In any case, those with iOS 9 already installed can upgrade to iOS 9 beta 4 by following these instructions:
The number of iOS 8 installations continues its upward march towards the 80 percent threshold. This magic number represents the iOS 7 adoption rate at roughly this time last year. While iOS 8 lags slightly behind according to Apple's Developer page, other reports show that the 80 percent level has already been reached.
In any case, iOS 8.2 was released on March 9 and is the first version to include Apple Watch support. In addition to stability enhancements and bug fixes, iOS 8.2 also includes several improvements to the Health App. iOS devices still running iOS 7 has dropped to 20 percent, with older versions comprising just 3 percent of the total. As always, these statistics from Apple only include devices compatible with iOS 8.