Top Apple Maps app manager for Watch, iOS & OS X exits for Uber

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Apple is having trouble retaining top talent in its Maps division.

We’re told that a notable number of exits have occurred on the Maps team over the last several months with a large portion of those engineers heading to ride-sharing startup Uber. The most notable Apple employee to recently depart is Brad Moore, who exited in October to become a manager at Uber. As “Senior Engineering Manager, Maps Apps & Community” at Apple, Moore “built and managed the application and community teams responsible for Maps on iPhone, iPad, CarPlay, OS X, and Apple Watch,” according to LinkedIn.

Since Moore was in charge of such a critical application across all of Apple’s major hardware and software platforms, his departure marks a significant loss for Apple and a huge gain for Uber. Apple is said to also be overhauling its public transportation team following the group’s inability to launch the planned directions service for iOS 8 last year. Sources say that Apple’s Maps team is also progressing on its testing in major districts like New York City of a new indoor mapping service. Chris Blumenberg, another former top Apple Maps manager at Apple, left for Uber in July.

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Twitterrific 5 for Mac may become the first casualty in Twitter’s war on developers, but it won’t be the last

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If you open the Mac App Store right now and do a search for “twitter,” you’ll find results just like the ones in the image above. You may recognize the official Twitter app along with some of the most popular and prolific third-party clients. Right below Twitter for Mac you’ll find Twitterrific.

Twitterrific has been around for quite a while now, and was the very first native Twitter application ever built for Mac. It was also the first app to use the word “tweet” to refer to the posts on the network, and introduced many modern staples like conversations and replies. To this day it remains a popular choice among users and has seen many major updates and redesigns. It’s currently on its fourth major version.

In December 2012, Twitterrific 5 was released for iOS devices. The Iconfactory, Twitterrific’s developers, promised that a Mac version of the updated app was in development and would include support for the new iCloud syncing feature and an all-new design. Three days shy of a year after releasing the iPhone update, however, users were given what is currently the app’s most recent update. It included only two bug fixes. The developers have noted that the 5.0 update for Mac is facing big delays.

So what’s going on here? Why has it taken two years for any more news of the update? When will the new version finally be available?

The unfortunate truth? Not even the developers know.

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Parallels Desktop 10 Black Friday bundle: 1Password, Camtasia, CleanMyMac 2, Gemini, and more for $50 upgrade/$80 new ($285 off)

From 9to5Toys.com:
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Starting this evening and running through Black Friday weekend, Parallels is running a special bundle of Mac apps for free when you upgrade to Parallels 10 for $49.99 or buy it new for $79.99. The bundled apps 1Password password manager, Camtasia screen recorder, CleanMyMac 2 file organizer/remover, Gemini file de-duplicator, Acronis True Image backup and restore software and a 2 year subscription to Parallels Access which allows you to run parallels VMs remotely on iOS and Android devices. Not a bad deal at all of you need any of these other apps.

Parallels 10 was announced in August and we reviewed it shortly thereafter noting it was the best way to run Windows and Linux VMs on a Mac.

Not sure you are into Parallels? Grab a 14 day free trial here. Just want Parallels in a shiny box? Amazon has it for $62. More info on the bundled apps below:

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Apple defends safety of Siri use while driving after university study rated it highly distracting

 

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Apple has responded to a University of Utah study which criticized the safety of using Siri while driving, stating that it didn’t test the company’s in-car versions, Siri Eyes Free and CarPlay.

Of the six speech-recognition systems tested by researchers, Siri was found to be the worst for driver distraction. The study hooked up drivers to heart-rate monitors and other equipment designed to measure the degree of stress experienced by drivers while carrying out a range of voice-command tasks, giving each system a distraction rating from 1 (best) to 5 (worst) …  Read more

KGI: Apple to sell over 71M iPhones in holiday quarter, followed by sub-50M to start 2015

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KGI Research’s Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the few analyst/firms with a respectable record on Apple forecasts, updated its iPhone sales expectation numbers this weekend for the holiday quarter and Q1 of 2015.

Strong iPhone shipments in 4Q14. We forecast overall iPhone shipments will surge 82% QoQ to 71.5mn units in 4Q14, given robust demand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 Plus supply shortage implies not only robust demand, but also confirms our concerns regarding constraints within the supply chain. We believe 4Q14 iPhone shipments will be stronger if supply chain constraints are eased.

Kuo notes that the iPhone 5c and 4s which are still sold in emerging markets [like Virgin Mobile in the US?!] will be discontinued in 2015 after promotions that ironically will improve low end sales numbers in Q1 2015. Subsequently, average price per device sold will also drop significantly for Apple in Quarter 1… Read more

iWork for iCloud updated with eight new languages, easier document renaming and more

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Apple has updated its iWork for iCloud web-based productivity suite with eight new languages, the ability to rename documents in the editor and a few minor additional enhancements.

Pages gets all eight new languages: Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish – including bidirectional support for Arabic and Hebrew. Numbers and Keynote get all but Arabic and Hebrew …  Read more

Google reaches agreement to settle patent litigation with Apple-backed consortium Rockstar

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Google, according to a report out of Reuters, has agreed to settle all of its patent litigation with the Rockstar consortium, which consists of a variety of tech companies including Apple, Sony, BlackBerry and Microsoft. The Rockstar consortium paid $4.5 billion for Nortel Network Corporation’s huge patent portfolio in 2011, outbidding Google at the time. The Rockstar consortium originally sued Google and a handful of Android manufacturers in October of 2013, claiming that the companies infringed on seven Nortel patents.

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Apple patents smoke detectors in iDevices that can call 911, activate sprinklers and locate building occupants

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The Nest smoke detector may look decidedly old-fashioned if one Apple patent ever makes it into production. Apple has patented the idea of embedding smoke detectors into “electronic devices” and using those devices to provide a comprehensive response to a fire.

In response to detecting smoke with the smoke detector, the electronic device may issue an alert or take other suitable action. The electronic device may transmit alerts to nearby electronic devices and to remote electronic devices such as electronic devices at emergency services facilities. Alerts may contain maps and graphical representations of buildings in which smoke has been detected. Motion detectors and other sensors and circuitry may be used in determining whether electronic devices are being used by users and may be used in determining where the electronic devices are located. Alerts may contain information on the location of detected smoke and building occupants.

In other words, your Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or Mac could detect smoke, alert you, alert other devices within range, activate sprinklers, call emergency services and use the fact that an iDevice is moving or in use to tell fire crews where in the building you and your family members are …  Read more

Apple supplier Corning says new Gorilla Glass 4 twice as shatter-resistant in drop tests (Video)

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The GTAT mess may have forced Apple to abandon its presumed plans to replace iPhone Gorilla Glass screens with sapphire, but next year’s iPhone displays could still prove up to twice as shatter-resistant, says glass-maker Corning.

Corning said that studying hundreds of broken phone screens had revealed the unsurprising fact that shattered screens most commonly occurred in a one-meter drop onto a rough surface like concrete or asphalt. Drop tests in these conditions found that Gorilla Glass 4 survived up to 80% of such impacts – twice the record of the Gorilla Glass 3 used in current iPhones.

While there was much scientific testing behind the scenes, the videos the company used to illustrate the improved strength were rather less scientific in nature …

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10% of owners of iPhone 5 & up will buy an Apple Watch, predicts Morgan Stanley

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Morgan Stanley is predicting in an investor note that around 10% of those who own an iPhone 5 or later will buy an Apple Watch, generating first year sales of around 30M – right at the top end of the 10-30M range suggested by other analysts.

While predicting likely sales of a new product category is always a rather shaky undertaking, and sales of competitor smartwatches may not prove a reliable guide, Morgan Stanley thinks there is one clue to how well the Apple Watch might sell: the precedent set by the iPad …  Read more

Apple getting serious about iAd as it offers automated purchasing of mobile ads

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When Steve Jobs said something was going to happen, it generally did. One notable exception, though, has been Apple’s mobile advertising platform, iAd. Jobs said back in 2010 that it would grab 50% of the mobile ad market; right now, it’s sitting at just 2.6%. That may be about to change after advertising middleman Rubicon announced that automated purchasing of iAds will soon be supported …  Read more