Mystery solved: Apple vans gathering next-gen Maps data, grabbing Street View storefronts + 3D images

Apple Van

Three years after Apple launched its own iOS Maps app to replace Google as its iPhone and iPad map provider, the Cupertino company is readying its first major enhancements to the service. While Apple was known to be gearing up for the launch of a mass transit directions service this fall in a handful of cities, sources have revealed that it is also developing its first entirely in-house mapping database to reduce its reliance on TomTom, using a fleet of mysterious vans to take still photos of business storefronts to replace Yelp photos, and building a 3D Street View feature. Apple has been using the sensor-equipped vans in cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York since earlier this year, and, below, we detail how the vehicles are advancing Apple’s plans for the future of Maps…

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Readdle debuts Spark, a highly customizable email app for iPhone & Apple Watch

Spark

Readdle today released a new addition to its giant collection of productivity apps for iOS with the debut of Spark. Spark is described in short as “fast and smart email for your iPhone” while its core features include tons of customization options and intelligent notification and filtering options that help take the stress out of email. Though Spark is only the latest third party email app to land on the iPhone, it is the first solid email client I’ve used on the Apple Watch so far. How does it compare to Apple’s own Mail app in this case? Read more

Apple posts official support doc with temporary workarounds for Messages bug

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Earlier this week a bug was discovered that centered around a string of text that when received via a message would cause your iPhone to reboot and the Messages app to crash continuously. At the time, Apple said it was aware of the bug and working to push an update to fix it. In the meantime however, the company tonight has published an official support document with a few suggestions on how to temporarily work around the issue.

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Queens, NY Apple Store logo appears as Apple announces new Upper East Side store opening Jun. 13

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Apple’s first Apple Store opening in Queens, New York is approaching. Signage for the new store at the Queens Center mall has appeared, according to tips from readers. A photo of the location, which we discussed in our report on future New York Apple Stores earlier this year, is shown above. We were told earlier this year that this Queens store will be the largest New York Apple Store within a mall and that the opening is planned for later in 2015. Apple is expecting this store to pull in nearly as much revenue as some of its larger flagship locations in the State…

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Google introduces competitors to Apple Pay, Photos, HomeKit + new iOS apps at I/O

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Google just wrapped up the opening keynote for its I/O developer conference taking place this week, and not surprisingly many of the announced products and services are direct competitors to Apple’s. Android Pay gets an official coming out party to compete with Apple Pay, Project Brillo is Google’s answer to HomeKit, and the new Android M gets a focus on quality, much like what Apple has in store for iOS 9 at WWDC in June. The company also announced a new Photos app with unlimited photo and video syncing and iOS support, as well as a number of other iOS app announcements.

Head below for a roundup of everything Google announced today from 9to5Google: Read more

Google introduces Photos app w/ unlimited photo & video syncing on iOS, Android, and the web

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Google revealed its new cross-platform Photos app and service today at its I/O developer conference taking place right now. The idea is similar to Apple’s own Photos app and iCloud Photo Library. Google is automatically backing up and syncing photo and video libraries using Google Drive storage and not local device storage, but Google’s killer feature for its version comes down to price: Google Photos is completely free. Read more

MooVee for iPhone aims to help you manage your growing movie watchlist

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Following up on the success of the series tracking app TeeVee, developer CrazyApps has released a new piece of software aimed at moviegoers. The app, appropriately titled MooVee, allows you to keep track of movies you’ve seen and what you want to see.

The app’s UI is similar in some aspects to TeeVee, but most of it has been designed from scratch to better accommodate the ways movies and TV differ. For example, in the image above you can see the watchlist view, which resembles the main list view in TeeVee. However, other features are unique to MooVee.

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