Smart driving assistant Automatic partnering with Ford Motors through its in-car Sync platform

All-New 2015 Ford Edge Showcases Technology, Design and CraftsmaAutomatic Labs and Ford Motors are announcing today a new partnership to bring the Automatic Link accessory to more people and add more functionality to the platform. Ford Motors and Automatic Labs will work together to develop features to both the Automatic platform and Ford Sync, the automaker’s in-car infotainment system.

By integrating with Ford’s Sync platform, for example, Automatic users will be able to connect the in-car Sync button to the popular If This Then That automatic service. This turns the push-to-talk button into a one push button for a variety of programmable automation tasks in the car. The two companies say more enhancements will roll out soon through the partnership. Read more

Launch Center Pro 2.3 for iOS adds IFTTT, geolocation, and iBeacon support

Contrast today is releasing a major update to Launch Center Pro for iPhone and iPad adding support for If This Then That and location-based actions. The update includes support for sharing GIF images from within the app using Giphy search integration (fun, right?) as well as support for scanning barcodes and QR codes from Launch Center Pro.

While there’s certainly a lot of potential with connecting web services to native apps using LCP and the IFTTT automation service, the location-based actions using geofencing and iBeacons unlock some really cool use cases for me personally… Read more

Apple announces HomeKit API for iOS, will serve as a central hub for home automation

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Along with several other new APIs for developers, Apple has announced HomeKit which allows all home automation accessories/devices to work together. The new API will allow home automation developers to centralize all home automation in iOS without needing separate apps to access each device’s specific features. These devices include locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs, switches, and more.

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Report: Apple planning iOS-controlled smart home automation platform for WWDC unveiling

According to a report from The Financial Times, Apple is working on a new software platform that would “turn the iPhone into a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances.” Apple’s iOS ecosystem is of course already home to an increasing number of connected products for the home like the Philips Hue WiFi connected light bulbs, the Nest thermostat and a number of iPhone controlled appliances, but the report claims that Apple will soon unveil a new central platform that will make for a more seamless experience: Read more

Opinion: Five years from now, will we have given up all control of our technology?

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I know, it seems an odd question. But a few different things over the last couple of days got me thinking …

Years ago, before either Google or Apple ecosystems were really deserving of the term, I managed all my device synchronisation manually: I decided what content got synced on what devices. My music too: iTunes was allowed to play it, but not to manage it – I took care of the folder structures and meta-data myself. And the miscellaneous notes I kept were in a folder full of text files, the format deliberately chosen to be compatible with anything, not sitting inside Apple’s Notes app.

My view was that it should be me, not some piece of software or online service, that made the decisions about how things got done. Fast-forward to today, however, and things are quite different around here …  Read more