Category Archives: iphone

Apple’s HomeKit platform will see first accessories launch next week

homekit

The first home automation products using Apple’s new Siri-controlled HomeKit platform will arrive next week, according to sources briefed on Apple’s plans.

The company first introduced HomeKit last year alongside iOS 8, introducing a framework for developers to build home automation accessories that could integrate with one another and be controlled using Siri. After Apple officially began to accept HomeKit product plans last November, a number of companies began showing off HomeKit products at CES 2015 in January. 

Many of the companies previewing HomeKit products in recent months are likely to be among the roughly five companies sources say will make announcements early next week.

We’ll also see more of what’s in store for HomeKit at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, which starts only days after the announcements on June 8. The timing of HomeKit announcements so close to WWDC suggests that Apple did not have adequate keynote time to accommodate third-party demos of the accessories, but wanted to let them receive attention anyway. Earlier this month, we reported that Apple is planning a new ‘Home’ app for iOS 9 that uses virtual rooms to manage HomeKit accessories, which will give a user interface to the platform other than Siri. As we’ve previously noted, the Apple TV will also play a role in controlling HomeKit accessories.

HomeKit’s official launch early next month comes just as Google introduced its competing platform, which was dubbed Project Brillo during yesterday’s Google I/O developer conference.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Home, Home.app, homekit, iOS, iPhone, June, launch, Shipping, WWDC

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Google Places API for iOS now available to all, Maps to add offline search/navigation

Google-io-offline-maps

As part of its Google I/O developer conference today, Google is offering some updates on its Google Places API for iOS as well as future updates arriving for its Maps app.

The Google Places API for iOS, first launched in beta mode a few months back, is now available to all developers and will be arriving soon in a number of notable iOS apps. The API lets devs tap into Google’s database of points of interest. 

The company highlighted a couple notable apps working to integrate the Places API including Lyft and PicsArt:

Lyft will be coming out soon with a new version of their iOS app that uses Google Maps and Places APIs to know where you want to be picked up and dropped off… In the next version of PicsArt, you’ll be able to simply use the place picker and the chosen location will be added to your post!

Google also noted that the Google Places API for iOS now has all of the features as the Android version:

  • Add a place picker: a drop-in UI widget that allows your users to specify a place (see the Picsart screenshot above)
  • Get the place where the device is currently located
  • Show detailed place information, including the place’s name, address, phone number, website, and more
  • Use autocomplete to save your users time and frustration typing out place names, by automatically completing them as they type (see the Lyft screenshot above)
  • Make your app stand out by adding new places that are relevant to your users and seeing the places appear in Google’s Places database
  • Improve the map around you by reporting the presence of a device at a particular place.

As for Google Maps, Google said on stage during its keynote presentation that an offline search mode and offline turn-by-turn voice navigation is coming soon. The company said the feature would arrive sometime later this year.

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Filed under: Apps Tagged: Google I/O, Google Maps, google places API for iOS, iPhone, Lyft, navigation, offline mode, search

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Moleskine brings stylish notebook aesthetics to calendar app, integrating maps, contacts & weather

Moleskin calendar
As someone who does everything electronically, I’m always slightly bemused by people who still use pen and paper – but there is something about Moleskine notebooks that does occasionally make me wonder just a little if I’m missing out. The company today appears to be targeting people like me, with an app that brings the stylish, minimalist aesthetics of the notebooks to a new iPhone and Apple Watch app.

Moleskine Timepage aims to integrate your iCloud, Google and Microsoft Exchange calendars with contacts, maps and weather. For appointments elsewhere, it will display a map of the location, show you the travel time by car, public transit, cycling or walking – and show what the weather will be like when you get there … 

You can choose from thirteen Moleskine colors for the app’s pages, and decide how many days to view in the free-flowing timeline. You can also use natural language to add appointments, like “Coffee with George at Monks.”

I use multiple color-coded calendars so I can see at-a-glance not just what I’m doing, but what category it belongs to (tech writing, novel writing, social, etc), so I don’t think the solid color pages will work for me, but I’d otherwise be tempted to take it for a spin.

The company suggested last year that there was a good overlap between Apple and Moleskine customers, its CEO noting that its retail stores do better when they are close to an Apple Store.

Moleskine Timepage costs $4.99 from iTunes and is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus, with a companion app on the Watch. Check out the full feature list below.

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FEATURES:

• Your schedule is presented as a continuous timeline, making it easy to view a whole week at a glance or keep scrolling into the future to see what is coming up.

• A fully featured weather app with beautiful interactive charts is built-in so you can plan for the day.

• Adding events is as simple as typing something like “Coffee with George at Monks” and Timepage will take care of the details.

• Elegant single day and event views that keeps you focussed with info like “1 hour free after this until Meeting at 4pm”.

• Get travel time and directions for your events by car, public transit, cycling or walking.

• Works with Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange (2007 with EWS) and Apple iCloud.

• Personalise your calendar by choosing how many days to show and selecting from thirteen Moleskine colors.

FOR APPLE WATCH:

• See your day-by-day schedule for the next week.

• Weather information with rain and temperature graphs so you know how to prepare.

• Maps show how to get to your next event and transit times for walking, cycling, driving and public transit.

• Glance view that shows how long until your next event and how long it will take to get there.

• Contact information and event notes are right there on your wrist.

• Event reminders will tap you on the wrist.

• Handoff from any day to your iPhone for quickly adding a new event.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: Apple watch, Apple Watch apps, calendar, iPhone, Moleskine

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Reading Roundup: Everything to know (so far) about iOS 9 and OS X 10.11

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve published several articles detailing the future of iOS (the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch’s operating system), OS X (the Mac’s operating system), and Watch OS (the software that runs on the Apple Watch). Here’s a list of links to the stories we’ve written thus far about the new operating systems, and we’ll keep updating this page as we publish new and relevant details.

iOS

Apple plans to refresh iOS 9, OS X 10.11 using new Apple Watch font: This story details Apple’s plans to utilize a new typeface for iOS 9, taking a page out of the design language for the Apple Watch.

– Apple’s planned iOS 9 ‘Home’ app uses virtual rooms to manage HomeKit accessories: This article discusses Apple’s testing of a new application called “Home” that will be used to manage various HomeKit devices within the home.

Maps Transit

Apple readies Transit subway, train + bus guides for iOS 9 Maps, deploys robots for indoor mapping: After not being ready for release last year, Apple is apparently finally ready to take the wraps off of its Transit directions service for the iOS Maps application. This story also details Apple’s indoor mapping initiative and special robots roaming the Apple Cupertino campus.

 Future of iPad: Dual-app viewing mode, then J98/J99 ‘iPad Pros,’ multi-user support: In this story, we detail three major iPad-centric initiatives, including planned multi-user software support, a split-screen app viewing mode coming in iOS 9, and a pair of 12-inch iPads with enhanced industrial designs.

 iOS 9 & OS X 10.11 to bring ‘quality’ focus, smaller apps, Rootless security, legacy iPhone/iPad support: This extensive story reveals Apple’s plans for using its 2015 Mac and iOS updates as a time to introduce significant performance, optimization, and bug fix-based enhancements. Apple is also planning on supporting older iPhones and iPads, while boosting their performance simultaneously.

iOS 9 supports ‘iPhone 6S’ Force Touch, may enhance iMessage, Keyboard & Apple Pay: This story discusses how iOS 9 builds in support for the upcoming Force Touch Display feature in the next iPhone hardware upgrade. We also discuss Apple’s plans for adding new features to iMessage, the iPhone and iPad keyboard, and Apple Pay’s next stop.

iOS 9 Transit Maps to launch in a handful of cities in North America, Europe & China: This article builds upon our initial report about the mass transit mapping feature coming in iOS 9, and specifies which regions the service will initially launch in.

Apple’s ‘Proactive’ to take on Google Now with deep iOS 9 search, Augmented Reality Maps, Siri API: This expansive story provides an in-depth look at Apple’s development of a significant new iOS initiative internally named “Proactive.” Combining major upgrades to Siri, Spotlight, and Maps, “Proactive” is a long-term Apple strategy to combat the Google Now feature found on Android devices.

OS X

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– Apple plans to refresh iOS 9, OS X 10.11 using new Apple Watch font: This story details Apple’s plans to utilize a new typeface for OS X 10.11, taking a page out of the design language for the Apple Watch.

 iOS 9 & OS X 10.11 to bring ‘quality’ focus, smaller apps, Rootless security, legacy iPhone/iPad support: This extensive story reveals Apple’s plans for using its 2015 Mac and iOS updates as a time to introduce significant performance, optimization, and bug fix-based enhancements. We also share the first details about Apple’s upgraded Swift programming language and platform for developers. Apple is also planning to add some new features to the Mac, including a Control Center panel that swipes out from the left side of a Mac’s display.

Watch OS and Apple TV

applewatchstainlesssteelblack

– Apple readies first significant Apple Watch updates, ’TVKit’ SDK for Apple TV: This story details the first significant updates coming to the Apple Watch, including upgrades for third-party complications and better Apple TV remote support. Speaking of the Apple TV, this article also details Apple’s plans for a new iOS-based Apple TV to debut at WWDC.

Stay Tuned

As the early June Worldwide Developers Conference gets closer, we’ll publish a thorough roundup of everything to expect, so keep an eye out for that as well.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, iOS, iOS Devices, Mac Tagged: App Store (iOS), Apple Inc, Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, IBooks, iOS, iPad, iPhone, IPod Touch, iTunes, OS X

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