Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple adds Maps Flyover support for 7 cities

Apple has updated its in-house mapping service with seven new cities. The company added seven international locales to its list of cities supporting Maps 3D Flyover.

With new locations, which include cities in Portugal, Spain, England, Germany and Puerto Rico, the total number of Flyover cities in Apple Maps reached 148, allowing users to have photorealistic 3D tours of those places and zoom in on landmarks and buildings. 

The latest additions can be seen below.

  • Almería, Spain
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Braga, Portugal
  • Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
  • Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Kiel, Germany
  • Kingston upon Hull, England


Flyover was first revealed as a standout Maps feature when the iPhone maker moved away from Google Maps in iOS 6. Flyover includes both high-resolution imagery and three-dimensional modeling technology to give users 3D visualizations of structures, major landmarks and points of interest.

Apple has added Flyover support to more than 30 new locations this year. The full list of Flyover cities is available on Apple’s iOS 8 feature availability page.


Universal debuts first trailer for ‘Steve Jobs’ movie

Universal Studios has finally released the first trailer for the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic. The new video offers the first on-screen look at what to expect from the film and Michael Fassbender, who plays the late Apple cofounder.

The trailer features mostly Michael Fassbender as Jobs, with cast voice overs giving snippets and teases of conversations regarding Jobs’ true legacy at Apple. Then, the video provides closer looks at Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet, and Jeff Daniels as Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Joanna Hoffman, and John Sculley, respectively. 

It is known, that this Jobs Biopic includes only three scenes. In each scene, Jobs is debuting a product of his creation.

From Universal’s official release:

Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, STEVE JOBS takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.

The film, which was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, will hit theaters in October.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple refutes rumors of delayed HomeKit launch

On Thursday, in a statement provided to The Wall Street Journal, the company has refuted rumors of delays, saying that the first HomeKit accessories will be available next month. That means HomeKit will truly see its official debut in the near future, perhaps at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Yesterday, Apple has pushed back an official HomeKit launch to fall after key software components “blew up.”

“HomeKit certification has been available for just a few months and we already have dozens of partners who have committed to bringing HomeKit accessories to market,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told The Journal. “We’re looking forward to the first ones coming next month.”

Apple introduced the HomeKit framework as a future iOS product at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2014.  It is the company’s platform that links several home automation devices together with a single set of protocols to allow them to be controlled through the Apple ecosystem. Apple has also revealed a demo version of HomeKit back in June. homekit

Apple finalized its HomeKit specification in October and began accepting applications for device certification in November. 


Apps Lists, iPad, News/Rumors

Apple debuts ‘Change Everything’ iPad ad campaign

Apple on Wednesday launched its newest iPad marketing campaign, “Change Everything,” offering a comprehensive look at how the tablet fits into and enriches the life of its owners.

The video starts off with a list of things that have changed since the debut of the first iPad, such as small businesses and education. Then, the ad shows a number of applications and accessories that have augmented the way people connect, learn, and conduct business, and enjoy their lives.

In addition to the new commercial, the “Change Everything” campaign includes  a new website featuring the apps that change the way people go about their daily lives. It breaks off into 6 sections: Cooking with iPad, Learning with iPad, Small Business with iPad, Traveling with iPad, Redecorating with iPad, and Why iPad?


Each section of the new site contains imagery covering what the iPad can do and a lot of recommended applications for each purpose. “Cooking with iPad,” for instance, includes sections on using the tablet as a cookbook, as a tool to create cookbooks, and as a prep tool for organizing ingredients to be bought.  Some of the recommended apps in this section include  Green Kitchen and Yummly.

For small businesses, there are such apps like the Square credit card reader and QuickBooks.

The education page offers options for students ranging from kids to college students, while the redecorating section gives access to the apps that help you decorate and furniture your home, like Vango Art and ColorSnap Studio.

Apple previously launched a number of different advertising campaigns for the iPad in an effort to spur people into purchasing one of its tablets. The company has already offered “Why You’ll Love an iPad,” “Your Verse,” and “Start Something New” in 2013 and 2014. 

Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple saw 1 million Apple Watch preorders on the first day

According to the data, estimated by Slice Intelligence, Apple saw 957,000 pre-orders in the United States on April 10, the first day the device was available to order. On average, consumers purchased 1.3 units which means that many customers ordered two or more devices.

The most popular model bought was the Space Grey Sport, followed by the stainless steel Apple Watch, then the Silver Sport. Only 3% of customers orderes the Space Black Apple Watch model although it was in limited supply (4 – 6 weeks) from the beginning of preorders and is also the most expensive model of Apple Watch.

The firm said Apple Watch consumers purchased an average of 1.3 watches and spent an average of $503.83 per unite. Sport buyers spent on average $382.83 per order, while those ordering stainless steel Apple Watch versions spent $707.04.

As for the accessories, the Black Sport Band was the most popular addition for both Watch and Sport buyers. The Milanese Loop was highly popular, coming in third for sales behind the White Sport Band.

Apple Watch

Slice Intelligence did not reveal Apple Watch pre-order data for the other eight countries where the smart device became available Friday, including Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, China and Hong Kong.

Apple started preorders on Friday and soon saw initial supply exhausted. Within minutes of going live, preorder ship-by dates for most Watch models slipped to 4 to 6 weeks.


Pandora CFO promises CarPlay support

Pandora announced its plans to launch its online music radio on Apple’s CarPlay, the in-car infotainment software set to appear in a number of vehicles on the market.

When Apple’s CarPlay feature debuted last year, Apple cooperated with a few music services to give a variety of listening choices on the platform, including Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Rdio, and more. Pandora will likely join them soon.

According to Pandora CFO Mike Herring, the service will “definitely be in CarPlay” and integrated into the Apple Watch as well.

CarPlay is currently featured in 40 new car models made by major manufacturers, Apple is tasked to significantly expand its footprint.

There is no a timeline for the possible launch of a Pandora CarPlay app. Last year, the Pandora representative said that Apple was an interesting partner and though it did not have a CarPlay offering at the current time, it was exploring opportunities to expand its presence in the vehicle in the future. carplay

“Pandora, which owes part of its success to the popularity of its iPhone app, has a “frenemy kind of relationship going on” with Apple, according to Herring. “We were part of what made it fun to have an iPhone,” Herring added. While the two companies are “close partners,” it is a “very interesting relationship.”

For Pandora, participating in the project could result in boost of subscribers

Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple plans virtual online try-ons and personal setup for gold & steel models

Apple will offer customers to virtually try on an Apple Watch or Apple Watch Edition and receive setup support. It is a great option for those, who are unsure as to which model to get or which band combination would look best, especially for those, who are unable to hop on over to the Apple retail store and check out the various combinations.

Virtual try-on means the ability for customers to video chat with an Apple Online Store representative who will personally try-on and model Apple Watch collections and band combinations. In addition, Edition buyers will be given an ability to have a “personalized pre-sales experience” either over phone or online chat.

Customers will be allowed virtual personal setup via the Apple Online Store. These online specialists will walk the consumer through the Apple Watch unboxing process, the setup of the iPhone Companion application, pairing with an iPhone via Bluetooth, and installing apps from the Apple Watch App Store.


However this online virtual personal setup feature will only be offered to customers purchase the Apple Watch or Apple Watch Edition versions, so if you’re planning to buy the Apple Watch Sport watch, you are recommended to either browse Apple’s website or head on over to the store for more information.

This is similar to services Apple has offered to its consumers in the past in select European regions, so it will be the first for Apple in the US.


Apple acquires fast database software firm FoundationDB to speed up cloud services

Apple reportedly acquired FoundationDB, a database software company that “develops scalable and fault tolerant databases that support multiple data models.”

Apple purchased FoundationDB for an unknown sum, possibly to bolster server technologies attached to iTunes or iCloud.

According to the post on the firm’s blog, FoundationDB software can perform ACID-compliant transactions at 14,400,000 random writes per second, or 54 billion writes per hour.

«FoundationDB’s attractiveness came in the speed at which it handled ACID-compliant transactions and coupled that with strong scalability. FoundationDB hosted a booth at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012, where we first wrote about its approach to a modern NoSQL database and its ‘NoSQL, YesACID’ motto. FoundationDB’s latest engine, which was covered by TC Columnist Jon Evans late last year, scaled up 14.4 million random writes per second.»


A post on the FoundationDB site notes it’s no longer offering downloads of its database software.

«Thank you for your support of FoundationDB over the last five years. We’re grateful to have shared our vision of building the best database software and we strongly value your participation in this community. We have made the decision to evolve our company mission and, as of today, we will no longer offer downloads.»

Meanwhile, Apple confirmed the acquisition saying: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”


iBooks is offering exclusive free sample of Becoming Steve Jobs

The new Steve Jobs biography by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli comes out on March 24th and is available to download both in digital and print.

Apple is currently giving an exclusive sneak peek into the prologue and first chapter, as well as Schlender’s first interview with Jobs when he moved to NeXT.

The company has been much promoting the book in several few days, on its iBooks Twitter account as well as through iTunes marketing emails. iBooks offers the following discription: the ‘only book about Steve recommended by the people who knew him best’. For example, in one of the chapters, Tim Cook describes the Isaacson biography as a tremendous disservice.

The first chapter starts with a description of how Jobs reacted at a meeting for the Seva foundation. The book includes seventeen chapters. Its introduction explains that the writing of the book is the work of two authors, the book features ‘I’ throughout the narrative as much of the book focuses on Schlender’s 25 year experience with Jobs.


Published by The Crown Publishing Group and written by veteran Wall Street Journal and Fortune reporter Brent Schlender, and Rick Tetzeli, Executive Editor with Fast Company, the book contains 464 pages.

It looks like, this offer is not available in every iBooks Store market. The sample seems to be available on the U.S. iBooks Store for the time being.

The book is already available for pre-order via Apple’s iBooks Store and on Amazon’s Kindle Store for $15 a pop.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple launches programatic iAd buys on iTunes Radio

Apple on Thursday officially began accepting programatic, or automated, iAd buys for iTunes Radio and introduced a new user targeting feature dubbed Customer Match.

The company now provides advertisers with the ability to buy iTunes Radio ads through an automated process in Apple’s improved iAd Workbench tool. Previously, they were required to go through iAd’s sales team.

Along with programatic purchasing, which debuted  in November, Apple launched Customer Match, an ad-targeting feature that matches IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) data to better segment device users. Brands can use the system to cross-reference their own anonymized IDFA data with Apple’s directly from iAd Workbench. iAd Workbench also gives advertisers the ability to target specific segments of the iTunes Radio userbase, utilizing the Customer Match tool that has been available to in-app ads since it debuted last year.

iAd buys on iTunes Radio

The iPhone maker is making privacy a priority with Customer Match, the source said, saying neither advertiser nor the company has access to specific customer pairings. Apple device owners are allowed to opt out of ad tracking services altogether in an iPhone or iPad’s Settings menu.

In addition, Apple is expected to give third-party ad agencies access to customer information for promotion targeting.