Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Nike announced its plans to rebrand Nike+ Running app

Nike revealed its plans to rebrand its popular Nike+ Running app. The app’s update comes with a number of performance, feature, visual, and stability enhancements.

In addition to the rebrand, the app was redesigned visually, bringing faster access for users to such info like run time, distance, and location. Moreover, the update adds some personal post-run sharing options with friends, which are expected to increase the motivation of people to workout in the first place.

Nike pays a lot of attention to the Apple Watch integration of its Run Club app. The Cupertino company is planning to refresh the Watch lineup later this year with a built-in GPS, which is expected to allow users to go on runs without their devices and still track location.

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Nike’s update also brings a number of new personalized coaching plans. “Whatever your goal, your Nike+ Coach has a plan for you. One that STARTS with your goals and fitness LEVEL, and ADAPTS as you progress,” the company says.

Here is the full changelog of the update:

Welcome to Nike+ Run Club

The Nike+ Running app is now the Nike+ Run Club app with a fresh, new & improved look.

  • Coaching plans now adapt to your schedule and progress.
  • More fun and personal post-run sharing than ever.
  • Compare and compete with your friends by hash-tagging runs.
  • Leave your phone at home and run free with Apple Watch.

 

Nike+ Run Club can be downloaded  via the App Store for free.

News/Rumors

Apple reportedly making a documentary with Cash Money Records

Apple is reportedly making an exclusive documentary with Cash Money Records, one of the world’s most popular hip-hop labels.

The Cupertino company yesterday has inked a new deal with Cash Money Records, which represents popular, well-known artists that include Drake, Young Money, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj, with some of whom Apple already has an exclusive deal. For example, “Views,” Drake’s fourth studio album, appeared at the top of the charts in May after a one-week exclusive on Apple Music. The Cupertino company also used a Drake track in an advertisement featuring Taylor Swift. 

Co-founder Bryan Williams shared a photo via his Instagram account on Tuesday alongside Larry Jackson, the head of Apple’s original music content. The picture celebrated Apple agreeing to fund a documentary for the label, according to people familiar with the deal.

“Welcome to the fam @birdman5star. Tough negotiator. Much respeck,” Jackson reported. Birdman first thanked Jackson in his message, but soon updated the text with a link to Music Business Worldwide’s report.

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Apple is currently working on a show focusing on the app business titled “Planet of the Apps.” Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, musician will.i.am and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk will reportedly take part in the project.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

CarPlay coming to 2017 Civic Hatchback this fall

Honda yesterday revealed that when it debuts in North America this fall, the 2017 Civic Hatchback will come with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Japanese car manufacturer confirmed that Apple’s iPhone-connected infotainment system will come back in the new five-door 2017 Civic Hatchback. The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback itself is expected to feature striking, Euro-inspired styling and five-door versatility with the Civic’s world-class driving dynamics and Honda direct-injected turbo engine technology. In addition, the Civic Hatchback will serve as the basis for the radical new Civic Type-R launching in the U.S. in 2017.

All five trims of the car—the LX, Sport, EX, EX-L and Sport Touring— will support the technologies via Display Audio, but only the Sport Touring trim will include CarPlay by default, in addition to Android Auto support, Honda Sensing features and LED headlights, with a number of other available options like heated rear seats, remote engine start, heated side mirrors and others.

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Apple’s technology was reserved a lot for high-end cars, but that’s changed with adding more vehicles from brands like Kia, Hyundai, Ford, and Chevrolet.

The 2017 Civic Hatchback was developed by Honda R&D teams in Europe and Japan and will be manufactured exclusively by Honda of the UK Manufacturing in its Swindon, UK plant.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple working on wireless earbuds with power saving Bluetooth chip

Apple is reportedly working on a custom Bluetooth radio chip for wireless earbuds

Citing a source familiar with the new project, Forbes reports the product has been in development for several years and might debut in September. The same time Apple is believed to introduce its next-generation iPhone, which will reportedly feature a 3.5mm headphone jack.

A report from Forbes says  the company is working on its own Bluetooth radio chip bouncing off of an acquisition the company made in 2013; Passif Semiconductor.

The low-power chip is expected to provide wireless headphones longer playtime and less charging.

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Apple is no stranger to wireless earbuds. Earlier in the year, a number of reports stated Apple was working on completely wireless, in-ear headphones that come with a carrying case that doubles as a battery pack.

According to multiple rumors, Apple is planning to exclude the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, pushing users towards wireless headphones and Lightning-based headphones.

The iPhone 7 is expected to be announced at a media event on September 6th or September 7th. The company may also announce other products, including a new second-generation Apple Watch and maybe some new Macs. The iPhone 7 release date is pinpointed for September 16 with preorders on the 9th.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

New iPhone 7 video gives comparison with iPhone 6s

A new video and photos posted to Chinese microblogging site Weibo give a deeper comparison of a purported iPhone 7 unit against Apple’s current flagship iPhone 6s. 

The clip demostrates an iPhone 7 casing (4.7 inch model) that features a larger camera opening on the backside, updated antenna lines, missing headphone jack in lieu of an additional speaker grille. 

In addition, the new camera component is embedded into the metal body with a curved smooth edge. It is also set closer to the corner of the smartphone, while iPhone 6s’s camera is positioned horizontally. The size of the camera hole is also about 25% larger, suggesting that significant upgrades to camera quality are in the cards.

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Besides, the iPhone 7 is expected to come with a new A10 processor and may be given 3GB RAM, up from 2GB in the previous device. Internal storage is also expected to see a boost, with the entry-level devices believed to begin at 32GB instead of 16GB. 

The device comparison allows to suggest that the iPhone 7 will retain the dimensions of the iPhone 6s. 

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Not demonstrated in the clip is the iPhone 7 Plus, which is believed to come with a dual-lens camera with a wider camera cutout. Meantime, the absence of the headphone jack in both devices is also expected to enhance their water resistance.

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If the Cupertino company follows its usual release schedule, the iPhone 7 will likely debut in September.

Apple TV, News/Rumors

Apple posted developer casting call for ‘Planet of the Apps’ TV show

Apple has posted an open casting call for its upcoming original TV show Planet of the Apps, the unscripted reality series about apps and developers.

The show is currently being co-produced with Propagate, a company reponsible for such projects likeThe Biggest Loser, and Howard T. Owens of MasterChef Junior fame.

The casting call is looking for developers from San Francisco, Austin, New York and Los Angeles to participate. Developers working on an iOS, macOS, tvOS or watchOS app can apply via the show’s website through August 26.

Executive producers will.i.am, Ben Silverman, and Howard Owens are teaming up for an unscripted series about the world of apps and the talented people that drive its innovation. They’re looking for developers with the vision to shape the future, solve real problems, and inspire change within our daily lives. “We can really tell their stories as we explore how apps are developed and created and incubated,” says Silverman.”

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Developers who make it to the final round of the show will also meet with venture capitalists who will be investing up to $10 million. In addition, products featured in the show will also be granted prime placement in the App Store.

Filming will take place in Los Angeles in late 2016 and early 2017. 

 

News/Rumors

Profile details work of blind Apple engineer

A new profile published yesterday details the experiences and work of Jordyn Castor, a blind Apple engineer.

Jordyn Castor, a 22-year-old, is currently working on technologies like VoiceOver with company’s accessibility design and quality team.

Castor has been blind since birth. She attended Michigan State University and first was given an internship at Apple after speaking to representatives at a job fair.

Castor told Apple reps how impressed she was by the iPad she received as a gift for her 17th birthday.

“Everything just worked and was accessible just right out of the box,” Castor tells Mashable. “That was something I had never experienced before.”

That internship turned into her current full-time position.

Castor revealed that she works using a combination of alphabetic and Nemeth (mathematical) Braille, and actually prefers Braille when reading meeting agendas as well, since she can “see” the grammar, spelling, and punctuation. In addition, Jordyn uses VoiceOver alone to navigate devices.

Several her previous works include adding accessibility support for Swift Playgrounds, Apple’s iPad-based code learning app.

The Cupertino company has been praised for its accessibility efforts in the past. The National Federation of the Blind said two years ago that “Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company.”

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple gives away popular drawing app ‘Procreate Pocket’ through Apple Store app

Apple made popular drawing and sketching app Procreate Pocket available for free  for a limited time from the Apple Store app for iOS.

The sketching app is a “must-have” for artists and for ordinary enthusiasts, as it offers a wide range of painting, sketching, and drawing tools for making art on the iPhone. 

Procreate lets you generate high-caliber artwork at a blistering pace using  robust layers system, stunning filters, and thousands of importable brushes. A must have for serious artists and enthusiasts alike.”

Users of the iPhone 6s can also enjoy the app’s 3D Touch pressure sensitivity. Procreate Pocket can also be used with an Apple Watch for selecting brushes and tools, picking from color swatches and executing general app commands. The app includes 12 brush types and allows users to download and import additional tools. Like the iPad app, Procreate Pocket records a clip of an artist’s creative process in 1080p. The results then can be shared via iCloud Drive, AirDrop and AirPrint in .procreate, PSD, JPG and 24-bit PNG formats.

If you want to doanload Procreate for free, make sure you have the Apple Store app on your device.  Then, scroll to the bottom of the “Featured” tab and tap on the small banner that says “Download Procreate free.” 

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The deal ends on July 28th.

Apple started giving away paid software through the Apple Store app in 2013. Earlier this year, the company offered popular journaling app Day One 2 for free. Prior to that, Apple gave away the puzzle-based game Rules! for free in the Apple Store app.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Chinese company claims Apple copied its design for iPhone 6

A Chinese intellectual property bureau required Apple to stop the sales of its popular iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices, after finding out that the Cupertino company infringed the patent right of a little-known local device maker.

Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruled that Apple and its Chinese distributor Zhongfu Telecom infringed the patent of Shenzhen-based Baili, which is suing the iPhone maker for copying the exterior design of its 100C device.

Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have minor differences from Baili’s 100C. The differences are so tiny that the average customer could not notice. So, this case falls into the patent rights protection category,” the ruling reads.

Apple didn’t comment on the matter, but  according to some reports, the Cupertino company has already filed a lawsuit calling for the ruling to be annulled. Bird and Bird partner and IP specialist Ted Chwu noted that Apple has some legal options open to it.

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Apple has a problematic relationship with the Chinese government. In April, Chinese authorities abruptly closed Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movie just six months after they started in the country. There were no comments on the ban from authorities. In addition, this year the company lost exclusive rights to the “iPhone” name, and in 2012 it was required to pay out $60 million to settle a dispute over the “iPad” trademark.

Accessories, Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Pokémon GO may come to iOS in July

Pokémon Go — the crazy, augmented reality Pokémon title for iOS/Android built by the team behind Ingress, will be available this July.

Nintendo announced the release window during its second-day E3 live stream, but didn’t provide a specific release date. 

Nintendo has also mentioned a piece of hardware that will allow users to play the game without using their smartphones. This device will connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth and will run $35. 

The Pokémon Company, and Niantic Labs, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto demonstrated the Pokémon GO Plus device, which is a Bluetooth wearable accessory that will let users receive alerts for nearby Pokémon without the need to check their iPhones constantly. 

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During the presentation, Miyamoto said that the GO Plus device will hit the market by the end of July, meaning players will need to launch the game during that same timeframe.

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Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokemon Company also confirmed that players won’t be able to trade Pokemon at launch, but the feature will be added sometime in the future.

Pokémon GO is currently in an ongoing Beta stage for the past few months or so in the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

In the game, you can take the role of a trainer and travel to different places to capture pokémon and battle at gyms, which are located at notable landmarks.The gyms will be controlled by one of three groups, the Red, Blue, or Yellow team. Players can control gyms by battling their own pokémon, and joining others in the real world increases your chances to win. The game features hundreds of Pokémon to discover through exploring and evolution.