Apple adds option to download “Later” for movies and TV shows through iTunes in the Cloud

Download-Later-iTunes-in-the-Cloud-moviesApple has recently added a new option for iTunes purchases on both the Mac and iOS devices running iTunes 11 and iOS 6 or later. Now, when purchasing content that includes a large download, such as movies or seasons of TV shows, iTunes will allow users to complete the purchase and opt to download the file at a later time. As noted by Macworld, Apple outlined the new option, which presents users with a dialog to “Download” now or download “Later”, in a recently updated knowledge base article.

Selecting the new “Later” option will add the purchased content to your “Purchased” tab in iTunes in the Cloud, meaning the feature is only available to those in countries that support iTunes in the Cloud (full list here). According to Apple’s knowledge base article, the option applies to content including: TV seasons, season passes, movie bundles, music box sets, or individual movies and TV episodes.  Read more

iOS devs give in-depth look at advantages of Apple’s MapKit vs Google Maps SDK

FastCompany today posted an in-depth look at the differences between Apple’s MapKit and Google’s recently launched Google Maps for iOS SDK from the perspective of developers. The lengthy piece gets insight from several iOS app developers with apps that rely on the SDKs and sheds some light on a few things that Apple is doing much better than Google despite a perception from users that Google Maps are superior:

“Google doesn’t currently charge for the Places API, but they do require a valid credit card for access–which gives you a quota of 100,000 daily requests. So you have to wonder if they plan to start charging sooner or later,” McKinlay explains. “That 100,000 limit perhaps sounds reasonable, but each user session can generate many requests–particularly when using the ‘autocomplete’ feature of Tube Tamer–and some types of requests count for 10 times the quota each, so it can get used up pretty quickly.”

While noting that Google wins out with location lookup services, 3D buildings, directions, geocoding, and better hybrid satellite imagery, the developers were also quick to point out downsides of the Google Maps SDK such as quotas for the Places API, an increased app size, and limitations with markers, gradient polylines, and overlays.

Developer of transportation app Tube Tamer, Bryce McKinlay, discussed some of the benefits of using Apple’s MapKit:

“Subjectively, the current version of the [Google] SDK does not perform as well as MapKit,” McKinlay says. “GMSMapView’s frame rate is capped at 30fps, which is lower than typical for iOS and results in a slight but noticeable ‘jitter’ effect when panning and zooming the map. Drawing of labels and POIs sometimes lags behind if you pan quickly, even on a fast device like the iPhone 5.”

“The fact that annotations in MapKit are UIViews also means that animation and other effects can be applied easily using Core Animation, which isn’t currently possible with the Google Maps SDK approach,” McKinlay says. He also points out that MapKit has some other handy features that Google’s SDK currently lacks, like “Follow user location” and “Follow with heading” modes. “MapKit provides a button that automatically moves the map to follow the user’s location, and rotates the map according to the compass heading. This is very helpful for pedestrian navigation. It is possible to implement this manually in Google’s SDK, but it adds extra development time/effort.”

It looks like some developers feel Google has some work to do with their Maps SDK for iOS. While Apple isn’t free of its own issues with MapKit, developers will definitely want to read Fast Company’s entire post before deciding which solution will be best for their app. The developers ultimately end up recommending MapKit over Google’s Maps SDK for the majority of developers.

Tweetbot for Mac, Turnplay, Batman: Arkham City, Kayak Passbook support, 25% off ANY Aspyr title, more

Turnplay: Based on the classic Technics SL1200 turntable, which sold more than three million units worldwide, Turnplay is a new app aiming to bring a realistic turnable experienced to iPad. The app features pitch control, full realistic record control, and 33/45 buttons. The app is on sale for 50% off (99 cents) to celebrate its introduction.

The world’s most popular vinyl turntable which sold over 3.000.000 copies worldwide is now available on iPad!

Tweetbot for Twitter 1.1 (for Mac): The Tweetbot for Twitter Mac App Store app gets a big update today that brings new global hot keys for new tweets and “show/hide”, an “All Tweets” option for notifications on 10.8, keyboard shortcuts for Email, Tweet, and Read Later, and much more. Tapbots are also listing a ton of fixes in version 1.1 on the app’s iTunes page.

– New global hot keys for show/hide and new tweets available in preferences
– New “All Tweets” notification preference available (10.8 only)
– If you pin timeline to top in preferences it will now also pin other non-streaming columns to the top (searches, lists, etc)
– Added support for visual sync marker
– Keyboard shortcuts for Read Later and Email Tweet
– Trends now autorefresh if used in a column
– Clicking menu bar item rows will now open main window if needed. Will also go to correct space if main window is on a different space/desktop
– Moom and Tweetbot are now better friends

Kayak for iOSKayak version 24.0.0: Following an update to the pro version last night, Kayak’s free iOS app now games the same features including Passbook and Reminders support, a new itinerary management tool, the ability to book car rentals, as well as updated sharing options and hotel booking screens:

Edit events in Trips, our itinerary management tool.
View trips that have been shared with you.
Simpler, prettier, faster, better hotel booking screens.
Passbook support for trip events (iOS 6 required).
New ways to share travel info: Twitter, Facebook
Save searches in iOS Reminders (iOS 6 required).
Book rental cars directly with KAYAK.
Performance improvements and bug fixes.

Avengers Initiative version 1.05: Read more

Analyst: Apple could purchase partner TomTom to accelerate improvements to Maps app

TomTom iOS 6TomTom, one of Apple’s main partners providing data in its new Maps app, could be acquired by Apple, according to report from Netherlands-based Rabobank analyst Hans Slob. Bloomberg covered the analyst’s research report released early today, noting that Slob said there is a 30 percent chance Apple seeks to takeover TomTom in trying to make quicker improvements to its controversial new Maps app:

TomTom NV (TOM2), the Dutch supplier of navigation applications for Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone 5, rose the most in almost eight weeks after an analyst at Rabobank International said the U.S. company may make a takeover bid.

“TomTom needs the cash from Apple, and Apple needs the know-how of TomTom,” said Slob, who estimated Apple would pay a price of as much as 10 euros per share for the supplier. A takeover is also a “royal way out” for the Dutch company’s founders, said Slob, who has a buy recommendation on TomTom and raised his share-price estimate by 38 percent to 5 euros.

TomTom climbed 7.2-percent, an eight-week high, to 4.12 euros today, and it currently sits at a value of approximately 906 million euros ($1.18 billion USD).  Read more

Start using Passbook on iOS 6 with a few simple steps

During Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference opening keynote, which took place earlier this month, Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall unveiled a new app called “Passbook” that allows customers to track a number of various types of stubs, including boarding passes, loyalty cards, movie tickets, and coupons.

The app is included in the iOS 6 preview currently available to developers a part of Apple’s developer program, but it is missing those virtual items to put inside. For now, it is just a sitting page with no functionality. However, Passbook will most likely swing into full gear as Apple makes more additions heading into this fall. For those of you itching to start using Passbook, you can get it going in iOS 6 with just a few simple steps:

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Developer gets iOS 6 Maps with Flyovers and turn-by-turn running on iPhone 4

With the introduction of iOS 6 this fall, many iOS users will be left out on some of the new operating system’s flagship features. We already covered Apple’s official list of compatibility for iOS 6 features, and by far one of the most disappointing for iPhone 4 users was the news that they would not have access to the Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation features in Apple’s new in-house Maps app. Today, we have news from Russian website iGuides (via SlashGear) that iOS developer Anton Titkov found a way to get Apple’s new 3D maps up and running on the iPhone 4:

After yesterday’s release of jailbreak iOS 6 developer, well known to all users iGuides Anton Titkov (iTony) decided to dig a little bit in the new firmware, and became the first man in the world, who managed to get working 3D card on the iPhone 4. New tweak from Anton Titkova called 3DEnabler , and at the moment we can confidently say that it adds support for 3D cards on the “old” devices, but it is possible that the “unavailable” Turn-by-turn navigation will be defeated by our talented developer.

iGuides offers instructions for the hack on its website, while another video of 3DEnabler running on iPhone 4 is below:
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Microsoft providing mapping data for Apple’s new Maps app

Update: A reader just sent the images above that show Apple’s maps are identical to Microsoft’s for certain locations.

Evidence surfaced yesterday that showed Apple was crediting TomTom, in addition to OpenStreetMap, for at least some of the data used in its new in-house Maps app. Today, a report from TechPP (via TheNextWeb) pointed to proof that Apple’s Maps data appears to come from Microsoft too:

our friend, Cody Cooper, a New Zealand based developer, found something more interesting. While playing with Apple Maps on iOS 6 beta, Cody found that some of the Maps images had Microsoft attribution. Check out the image below showing the response headers with attributions to Microsoft Corp 2012. Click on the image for a better view.

We have not been able to confirm the evidence, so we are marking this as unconfirmed for now. Apple’s full list of acknowledgments for its Maps app can be viewed here, while the full-sized image of the evidence is below:

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Apple to include Facebook integration in iOS 6

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook hinted this past week during his interview at D10 that we could expect closer ties with Facebook and to “stay tuned” when asked about Twitter-like integration in iOS. Now, according to a report from TechCrunch, the much-anticipated integration of Facebook will happen in “the latest version of iOS.” There are not many details provided by the report, but it did note Apple is still trying to decide “exactly how sharing will work” and that things could change before iOS 6 is unveiled:
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Developers begin seeing iOS 6 hits in App Store application usage logs

Last week, we revealed Apple’s decision to drop Google Maps in iOS 6 in exchange for its own in-house solution branded simply as “Maps.” At the time, we told you many versions of iOS 6 have been floating around Apple’s campus, which indicated Apple is likely on track for a mid-June unveiling at this year’s World Wide Developers Conference. Shortly after, references to an upcoming iOS 6 beta were found in the code strings of the iCloud.com beta website.

One app developer informed us today that it has recently noticed users running iOS 6 using its app. The developer observed the “iOS6″ string when collecting the OS version from analytics software. It has not been able to trace exactly when the iOS 6 users started appearing, but it was sometime over the past week. Other developers that we spoke to began seeing hits in late April. There is a good chance that this means Apple is amidst iOS 6 compatibility testing with higher-profile applications from the App Store. The process of next-generation versions of iOS appearing in developer usage logs occurred last year too.

Although Apple’s new Maps app and its 3D mode will likely be pushed as a major feature of iOS 6, we noted previously that anyone anticipating major home screen changes or Android-style widgets will likely be disappointed. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported Apple was preparing to unveil an upgrade to iCloud at WWDC that would include new sharing and commenting features for photos, as well as video syncing capabilities that will likely be the Video Stream feature we told you about last year.
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