Why Apple switched from Yahoo to Weather Channel for Weather data in iOS 8

When Apple unveiled iOS 8 earlier this month, it didn’t take long for beta testers to notice it had replaced Yahoo with The Weather Channel as the source of data in the stock iOS Weather app. While recent reports suggested Yahoo was trying to get Apple to put even more of its services on the iPhone including search, we now have a bit more of the story behind why exactly Yahoo got the boot for weather in iOS 8. Re/code reports that the deal was made by Weather Channel CEO David Kenny who also happened to be a former Yahoo board member:

The situation Yahoo finds itself in is due to a very crafty deal engineered by former Yahoo board member and Weather Channel CEO David Kenny, who has essentially shoved Yahoo off the key smartphone to be replaced by a new offering that he has been developing since he took over the weather news and information service last year. With it, he has unseated Yahoo from its important perch.

It’s worth pointing out that Yahoo has always powered its weather services with data from The Weather Channel. With that in mind, it’s unclear if Apple possibly had plans to drop Yahoo and go straight to the source before Kenny started developing the new and improved weather service referenced above. More from Re/code on why Apple made the switch: Read more

EFF marks Apple’s ‘remarkable improvement’ in protecting customer data from governments

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today published its annual “Who Has Your Back?” report that rates and compares how major corporations deal with government data requests. The EFF’s ranking of technology company data request transparency is notable because the organization is the “leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world.” The report ranks companies based on six categories: requires a warrant for content, tells users about data requests, publishes transparency reports, publishes law enforcement guidelines, fights for users’ privacy in courts, fights for users’ privacy for rights in Congress. This year, Apple received a star for each of the six categories. 

This compares to many other technology companies, including Google, Yahoo, and Facebook, that received stars across the board:

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Marissa Mayer planning to push Apple to make Yahoo! the default iOS search engine

Jony Ive and Marissa Mayer eat pizza with other industry executives

Jony Ive and Marissa Mayer (right) eat pizza with other industry executives

Re/code reports that Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is planning an attempt at persuading Apple to switch its default iOS search engine from Google to her company’s own offering. According to Re/code’s sources, Mayer has built what she hopes will be a convincing arguement in favor of the change.

Yahoo! current powers the weather and stocks apps and Notification Center widgets found in iOS 7 as well as a few Siri functions, such as sports, but lost out on the chance to power Siri’s web search to Microsoft’s Bing. Both Yahoo! and Bing are included as optional search engines in the Safari browser, but the default selection is Google.

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Apple M&A met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last spring, to partner in battery ‘Gigafactory’?

Those ongoing analyst predictions that Apple would buy Tesla may have been based on some sort of reality.  According the the SF ChronicleAdrian Perica, Apple’s head of mergers and acquisitions, met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last spring.

A source tells The Chronicle that Perica met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Cupertino last spring around the same time analysts suggested Apple acquire the electric car giant…

Six months before Ahmad’s letter, Musk met with Perica and probably Cook at Apple headquarters, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect business relationships. While a megadeal has yet to emerge (for all of its cash, Apple still plays hardball on valuation), such a high-level meeting between the two Silicon Valley giants involving their top dealmakers suggests Apple was very much interested in buying the electric car pioneer.

But it is unlikely that Apple wanted to buy the car company and even more unlikely that Musk would sell it. In response to the acquisition rumors at the time, he tweeted the following:

But it’s highly likely that Apple would want to buy into one of Tesla’s major upcoming projects.

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Yahoo’s ‘commitment to mobile’ continues with Siri-like competitor

From 9to5Google:

Update: TechCrunch reports that this video is fake.

Update #2: TechCrunch now reports the video is real and commissioned by Yahoo!, but not a real product yet.

With Yahoo’s acquisition of SkyPhrase, a natural language processing startup this month questions immediately arose as to how Yahoo would incorporate the technology. Now, thanks to a video on Daily Motion discovered by Android Police, we may have our answer as Yahoo prepares a Siri voice-controlled personal assistant.

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Yahoo Weather goes universal, brings same award-winning design to the iPad

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At WWDC, Yahoo received an Apple Design Award for Yahoo Weather. This coincided with the unveiling of iOS 7 and its Weather app, which displayed striking similarities to Yahoo’s effort.

With the latest update to the app, Yahoo has brought the same award-winning design to the iPad. The full-bleed imagery from Flickr really shines on a larger display. The layout for iPad is largely a port of the iPhone design with upgraded icons and assets but refinements have been made for the iPad where necessary. For example, forecast information can be much larger because of the additional real-estate.

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