Coming at WWDC 2015: New Apple Watch SDK, Quality-focused/refreshed iOS 9 & OS X 10.11, Apple Music

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Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is about to kick off. On Monday, June 8th, company executives will take the stage at San Francisco’s Moscone Center to provide their annual roadmap for Apple’s software, services, and devices.

Traditionally, Apple has used the conference to introduce major upgrades to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system iOS, as well as the Mac operating system OS X, along with new services. Of course, 2015 will be no different. Apple has been preparing a new version of iOS 9 codenamed “Monarch,” a release of OS X 10.11 codenamed “Gala,” a new streaming Apple Music service based on Beats Music, and updates for the Apple Watch.

Over the last several years, we have provided advance reports on the lion’s share of announcements that will be made at WWDC, as well as a comprehensive roundup ahead of the event. Read on for our roundup of what’s coming, along with fresh new details not found in our earlier reports.

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Periscope for iPhone now lets you find streams by location

Twitter’s live video streaming app Periscope is out with a big update today adding a key promised feature. Periscope for iPhone version 1.1 now lets you find live streams around the world based on location using a new map view from the global tab. This lets you jump into streams going on around you or watch something interesting happening on the other side of the world. In addition to adding the new maps view, Periscope has been localized in 29 more languages: Read more

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

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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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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

Apple’s ‘Proactive’ to take on Google Now with deep iOS 9 search, Augmented Reality Maps, Siri API

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After several years of quiet development, Apple is readying a major new iOS initiative codenamed “Proactive,” which will leverage Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and third-party apps to create a viable competitor to Google Now for Android devices. Like Google Now, Proactive will automatically provide timely information based on the user’s data and device usage patterns, but will respect the user’s privacy preferences, according to sources familiar with Apple’s plans.

As an evolution of iOS’s Spotlight search feature, Proactive is the fruit of a long-term initiative that involved the acquisition of small app developers, and integration of core iOS apps. It will also work with Apple’s Maps application to display personally relevant points of interest using an augmented reality interface, and integrate with a third-party Siri API codenamed “Breadcrumbs”…

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Apple might have accquired GPS company Coherent Navigation to bolster Maps accuracy (Update: Apple confirms)

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Update: Apple confirmed the acquisition.

Apple, which has already acquired a variety of companies to help its Maps team, appears to have recently purchased San Francisco-based GPS company Coherent Navigation. The company was founded in 2008 by a pair of engineers from Stanford and Cornell. While Apple and Coherent Navigation have yet to confirm the acquisition, several pieces of evidence support the idea.

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Apple Maps Connect travels to five additional European countries

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Apple this week has expanded its Apple Maps Connect service to five additional regions in Europe: Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and The Netherlands. The additions were noted in an email to users of the platform and on the Apple Maps Connect website. For those unfamiliar, Apple Maps Connect allows business owners to both manage existing Apple Maps listings and add additional listings to the platform. This service works closely with the Apple Indoor Mapping feature, which aims for businesses to help Apple build up a portfolio of indoor mapping data. Apple earlier expanded Apple Maps Connect via service updates in January, February, and MarchThanks Chris!

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Ex-Apple SVP Scott Forstall is now a producer on a Broadway musical

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Less than 24 hours after a report surfaced revealing Scott Forstall began serving as an advisor to Snapchat last year, the former iOS chief has announced via his Twitter account an unrelated project: a Broadway musical.

I’m thrilled to be co-producing the Broadway musical Fun Home opening this Sunday. Bravo to the phenomenal team!

The announcement is especially notable as it marks the first time the former Apple executive has surfaced in public since his ousting at Apple under current CEO Tim Cook in late 2012. Read more

Apple adds new Apple Watch video guided tours for Phone, Siri, Maps & Music

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Update: Apple just uploaded the four new guided tours to its YouTube channel, as well. They are embedded below.

Apple has now updated its Apple Watch Guided Tour page with four more videos, featuring Phone Calls, Siri interactions, Maps navigation and the Music app. Apple began this series earlier in the month.

The videos demonstrate different Apple Watch features, such as taking a phone call, asking Siri for directions, getting navigation turn-by-turn directions in Maps or controlling music playback in the Music app.

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