Designers mock up Apple Watch versions of popular iOS applications

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Facebook Messenger

Thinkapps’ Build Blog has published a few designer mockups showing what popular third-party applications might look like on Apple’s new smartwatch with some interesting results. The apps were created by several different designers, and you can see that each app maintains some of the branding and design you’d expect while conforming to the smaller wearable UI and its new input devices like the Digital Crown.

Above you’ll find the design for Facebook Messenger, which features a contact view made up of circular contact photos with online indicators that closely resembles the watch’s home screen. The message view sports a single reply button that presumably uses the device’s built-in dictation capability to compose a response.

Below you’ll find designs for apps like Beats Music, Skype, Uber, YouTube, and more. Keep in mind that these designs are hardly official, but represent the types of user interfaces you might see when the folks in Cupertino release the Apple Watch early next year.

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Apple acquires mapping-based social recommendation service Spotsetter

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Just a little more than a week after acquiring Beats, Apple has now reportedly acquired Spotsetter. According to a report out of TechCrunch, Apple quietly snatched up the company mainly for the technology and two founders behind the service. Spotsetter was founded in 2012 by ex-Google Maps engineer Stephen Tse and Jonny Lee. Both Lee and Tse’s LinkedIn profiles now say they’re employed by Apple, as well.

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TweetDeck, Calendars by Readdle, Recall, Ustream, Yelp, more

TweetDeck version 2.0.0: Popular Mac App Store Twitter client TweetDeck gets a big update today that brings a revamped UI with “Improved clarity of columns and Tweets”, the ability to change font sizes, and redesigned profile panels with images. The updated app, which includes a toggle to switch between the classic dark and a new light view (pictured above), also now allows unfollow, block, and report spam actions to function for tweets in all columns. Features of new app are highlighted in a blog post on the TweetDeck blog, and the full release notes from iTunes are below:

• Redesigned UI
• Improved clarity of columns and Tweets
• New option to choose the app colour – dark or light
• Ability to change font size under Settings > General
• Redesigned & improved profile panel, including profile header images
• Unfollow, Block & Report spam actions now remove tweets from all columns
• Popup windows can now be repositioned using drag handle in top-left corner
• Repeated retweets are no longer displayed in Timeline columns
• Reduced the volume of the notification sound
• Tweet actions now available on Tweets in the Add Column menu
• $Tags are now linkified
• Fixed some display issues with Growl notifications
• Plus lots of other fixes and smaller updates

Calendars by Readdle: Readdle is re-launching its Calendars app that it calls the “most elegant and easy to use Google Calendar client available on the AppStore.” In other words, the app is now fully iPhone 5, and iOS 6 compatibility, fixing a crash some of the app’s 400k users had been experiencing.

Snapseed version 1.4.2:

-Snapseed now supports iOS 6 and the iPhone 5

-Flickr Support has been temporarily disabled due to a violation of the Apple App Store Guidelines. We are working with Flickr and Apple to find a solution to bring Flickr support back to Snapseed. 

Recall: Launching today in the App Store, Recall is an interesting new app that allows you to store and get notifications for recommendations you have received for movies, music, apps, books etc. For example, you can search for and save movies to a “My Items” list, allowing you to receive notifications when a specific movie is released. The idea is to save items as people recommend them to you, so in the future the app will act as a quick way to recall those recommendations and get notified of availability. It will also allow you to share recommendations with other Recall users via email and social networks, as well as browse new releases and top charts. The app essentially works as a wish list for iTunes content and new movies with built-in reminders and sharing, features the App Store and iTunes on iOS are currently missing. A promo video for the app is below:

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iOS 6 code points to integration of Apple Maps on Intel-based Macs

Since Apple unveiled its new in-house Maps app for iOS 6, we have discovered bits and pieces of what it has planned for the final release this fall. Apple already showed off Yelp integration, turn-by-turn navigation, and the 3D flyover mode, and it appears to be utilizing a new Avenir typeface. Today, Techpp posted a code dump from the iOS 6 maps app courtesy of developer Cody Cooper who found some interesting evidence of potential Maps integration with OS X:

Our developer friend, Cody Cooper has now stumbled upon an interesting code dump in iOS 6 maps application which hints at the possibility of Apple Maps coming to Macs in the near future.

During his routine investigation of Maps app, Cody found some interesting bits in the file altitude_manifest.xml

In this XML file, there is a reference to a set of Intel based graphics chipsets for which certain features like Shading are disabled.

While this is not solid proof that Apple is working on a full-blown Maps app for Mac, it could hint at possible integration between core apps and features in Mountain Lion and Maps on iOS. For example, location features in iPhoto could integrate with iOS Maps. As noted in the report, the code refers to shading being disabled for older Intel chipsets, which Cooper guessed could likely not support the app’s shading features. We will do some digging, and then update you if we discover anything new. The public release of Mountain Lion is scheduled for this month. Read more

Siri vs Google search in 1600-question street test, speed test

As noted by Phillip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune, Apple analyst Gene Munster published a note to clients today that contained the results of a Siri vs. Google search 1600-question showdown.

While it is not exactly a test of how well the companies’ various voice services stack up against one another (since Google Search queries were typed-in and not spoken), but it is a good indication of just how viable Siri is as an everyday mobile search product and alternative to Google. In the test, both Google and Siri were asked 800 questions in a quiet location. Another 800 questions were asked among the loud street traffic in Minneapolis. The results, according to Fortune: Read more