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 providedadvance 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.
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…
Rabbit: Launching today in closed beta, Rabbit is a new video chat and content sharing app– initially available exclusively for Mac– that has been getting a lot of attention. The app lets you chat with an unlimited number of people, create and customize chats, as well as watch movies, listen to music, and share content in chats in real-time. If you are a pre-teen who hasn’t heard of Google Hangouts, you might want to check this out.
Rabbit is kind of like a virtual living room. It runs in the background on your computer just like Skype, so you can always find your friends online and invite them to watch a movie or listen to music at any time. You can share this content directly from your computer, or you can use the Rabbit “SharePad” of integrated content sites to instantly launch TV shows, videos and music you want to watch and listen to with your friends.
Foursquare version 5.4.3:Foursquare gets an update today that brings improvements to check-in notification settings including an “Always” option to get notifications for all check-ins, as well as new “Nearby” and “Off” settings to apply to specific users.
✓ Choose “ALWAYS” for close friends and family you always want to keep up with. You’ll get notifications for all their check-ins, no matter where they are in the world.
✓ Choose “NEARBY” for friends you’d like to hear about from time to time. We’ll only notify you when they’re close by.
✓ Choose “OFF” for those acquaintances you don’t really want updates from. And that bike messenger friend who checks in at every spot on his route.
TomTom version 1.13: TomTom updated the majority of its iOS navigation apps today. On top of the most up to date map data, users can also now backup and restore settings and stored destinations from iCloud. With today’s update TomTom is also providing a free 30 day trial to its HD traffic subscription. In addition, the app now includes compatibility for iPad mini.
TomTom, 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
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.
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:
TomTom unveiled a new version of its iPhone and iPad app at CES 2012 that utilizes data from social networks like Facebook and Twitter to provide users with enhanced navigation to friends, places, and events.
The press release does not provide much information on exactly how TomTom is using social network data, but the company claimed it would be a source for turn-by-turn navigation features baked into the current iOS apps. TomTom will obviously have to avoid user-generated data that might be inaccurate, but it is unclear what specific data the app will access. From the screenshots above, it appears you will be able to easily navigate to friends who have recently checked-in (with their location) to a social network.
The new app, version v1.10, will also allow you to share your destination and ETA through email, SMS, Twitter, or Facebook. Managing Director Consumer at TomTom Corinne Vigreux explained:
TomTom also hints that a new version with some interesting features is on the way:
iPHONE 3G USERS: THIS IS THE LAST VERSION OF THE TOMTOM APP FOR iPHONE THAT WILL FULLY SUPPORT YOUR DEVICE. You will be able to download and use the next version of the TomTom App but new features will not be available to you.
More screenshots and full description below (thanks Caleb!):