Flyover City Tours discovered in iOS 8 and Yosemite Maps UI, here’s how to try it out

A few days ago, 9to5Mac published some details about the elusive City Tours feature of iOS 8 found hidden in secret debug menus. It was thought that this was the only way to see the feature. However, reader Stefan Kuijt has now discovered that the feature is actually exposed publicly in the iOS 8 UI, albeit extremely hidden. This means anyone with the iOS 8 beta can try City Tours without any modification. The video above shows the current public user-interface in action, touring a selection of France’s famous landmarks.

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Maps ‘City Tours’ feature hidden in iOS 8 betas, works like a guided Flyover video

Although deeper changes to Maps are in the works, Apple did announce a new City Tours feature for iOS 8 discreetly on one of the keynote slides. This feature is not normally available in the current iOS 8 betas, but developer Pierre Blazquez has managed to unlock the feature through a hidden debug screen and shines some light on exactly what ‘City Tours’ entails.

City Tours is best described as a guided-camera Flyover view. After activating the tour, the Maps app changes to satellite mode and begins zooming and panning to different landmarks in the city. For example, in the video, the tour rotates and pans between a couple of different cathedrals. More screenshots after the break …

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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

Big updates to Skype, Vimeo, TomTom, Adobe Photoshop Touch, DataMan Pro for iPad, deals, more

Vimeo version 3.0: Vimeo is today releasing an entirely redesigned app that brings a new UI with tab-based navigation, automatic Twitter and Facebook sharing, the ability to upload videos in the background, a Watch Later queue, and much more:

-Conveniently manage and watch all your videos on the go
-Quickly search for videos from the entire Vimeo catalog
-Discover new and amazing videos in the Explore tab
-Upload easily from your camera roll or shoot right from the app
-Continue using the app while your videos upload
-Share any video via Facebook, Twitter, email, iMessage, or copy the link and share how you want
-Watch videos from your Vimeo feed, Watch Later queue, or your uploads or likes
-Easily like videos, comment, and add to your Watch Later queue

Skype version 4.2: One of the biggest updates today goes to Skype’s iPhone app with the introduction of the support for Messenger, Hotmail and Outlook.com contacts and the ability to sign in and sync your Microsoft account. Other new features include easy account creation from within the app, the ability to edit instant messages by tapping and holding, and support for animated emotions on Retina displays. A full list of what’s new below:

-Chat with Messenger, Hotmail and Outlook.com contacts – sign in with and merge your Microsoft account.
-New to Skype? Create a new account right from the app.
-Tap and hold on instant messages to edit them.
-Choose an emoticon while typing an instant message.
-Animated emoticons for devices with a Retina display.
-Edit saved phone numbers right from the dial pad.
-Bug fixes.

TomTom U.S.A version 1.12: TomTom is updating the majority of its apps today with many new features, a few of which include full compatibility with iOS 6, optimizations for iPhone 5, integration with Apple Maps as a routing app on iOS 6, improved HD traffic, and more. TomTom also released variations of the update for its US & Canada, Europe, Western Europe, Brazil, Australia, UK & Ireland versions, as well as the majority of other locations it offers apps for.
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WSJ: Google putting final touches on Google Maps for iOS, distributed to a small number of outside testers

The previous version of Maps included on iOS 5.0.

After Apple moved to its own mapping solution on iOS, the rumors of Google bringing a standalone Maps app to the platform have intensified. The Wall Street Journal reported that the highly anticipated Google Maps for iOS may be here soon, with word that the app has entered its final testing stages and will include turn-by-turn navigation.

The WSJ wasn’t able to give specific time frame for the app’s launch, but the report added that the app has been distributed to a few members outside the bounds of Mountain View for testing before it is submitted to the iTunes App Store review team. The launch sounds like sooner than later, as several publications in the recent months have pegged the launch before the end of the year. The question is: will Apple accept it?

Google won’t be alone in the iOS Maps-alternative battleground, however. Nokia announced yesterday it plans to release its own iOS map solution under the “Here” brand. Nokia said it plans to make the app available on the iTunes App Store in the coming weeks, offering offline maps, voice-guided navigation, and information on public transport.

More on Eddy Cue’s Apple Maps involvement below

Nokia to release free ‘Here’ maps app for iOS with voice-guided navigation, public transport directions, and offline

While a native Google Maps iOS app has yet to hit the App Store, Nokia said today it plans to release a new free maps for iOS under the “Here” brand in the coming weeks. “Here” is a cross platform effort for mapping applications that the company described as “the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems.”

San Francisco, California – Today Nokia introduced HERE, the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. With the new brand, HERE, Nokia aims to inspire a new generation of location services and devices that make the mobile experience more personally significant for people everywhere… To further extend its location services, Nokia is launching a maps application for iOS under the HERE brand. 

The new HTML5-based iOS app, also called “Here”, will arrive in the App Store in the coming weeks and feature “offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions.” Read more