Apple delivered a major upgrade to Maps in iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, and watchOS 2 with the addition of transit directions in select cities, and now its rolling out additional cities and transportation methods to bolster that feature. In addition to expanding transit, Apple has found a new partner in Canada to provide rich local business data for use in Maps. expand full story
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As always, we’ll update the list of new apps and updates below as they hit the App Store:
Evernote 5 for iOS: Following the introduction of a new desktop version, Evernote is teasing the upcoming release of Evernote 5 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch on its blog today. Version 5 of the iOS app is completely redesigned and includes a new Quick Note button, a “Recent Notes” list on iPad, as well as “Views for Notes, Notebooks, Tags, and Places.” We get a preview of the new app in the video above.
Amtrak version 1.3: The official Amtrak app has added Passbook support today with the new eTickets now accepted at all stations:
From the integrated eTicket screen you select the action button to add it to Passbook. Passbook eTickets can be shown and scanned by conductors onboard Amtrak trains nationwide.
Podcasts version 1.1.2: Apple updated its Podcasts app today with a few new features and enhancements:
• Tapping a podcast in Top Stations now reveals episodes you can play • You can now easily turn on automatic downloads for all subscribed podcasts in Settings • Addresses an issue where previously played or deleted episodes unexpectedly reappear as new • Resolves an issue where Podcasts may unexpectedly play after a phone call or alarm • Includes additional stability and performance improvements
iOS App Sales: expand full story
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Amtrak Stories May 7, 2012
Government-owned railroad service Amtrak is set to use Apple’s iPhone and a new app as an electronic ticket scanner.
The New York Times reported that train conductors have been training to use the tech during select routes since November. The addition allows passengers to load a specific bar code on their smartphone screens that the conductor can scan for tracking purposes. Of course, passengers can still print their tickets per usual for Amtrak’s iPhones to scan.
Amtrak said 1,700 conductors would use the iPhone on routes across the country by late summer. The iOS device will come with a case containing an extra battery and a bar-code scanner. It will also come equipped with an app for scanning and indicating special conditions, such as whether passengers are disabled— and when and where they are departing— for coordinating a wheelchair lift. The app will even enable conductors to report the train’s mechanical failures.
The NYT article does not mention it, but 9to5Mac discovered mobile and emerging technologies developer Übermind claims to be the brain child behind the app’s shiny, new features. It’s website provided a few images (below) that depict what Amtrak described when detailing the iPhone’s case, battery, and app:
“Paper tickets are so 19th century. We ushered Amtrak’s conductors into the 21st century with our workforce automation solution. The bottom line for Amtrak: better customer service, better labor relations, and real-time business intelligence. Riders, taking the train just got fun again. [..] We worked with Amtrak to design and implement the engaging Digital Passport feature within Amtrak’s passenger iPhone app. With the personalized passport, riders can earn stamps for travel, share achievements to social networks, and view a map overlay of personal ridership stats. Train Masters, wanted.”