Proactive Stories March 12

In general, technology gets smarter over time. New features are added that improve the functionality, or changes are made that allow a device or app to do the same thing in smarter ways.

But every now and then, a new feature can effectively end up making an app dumber – and Apple’s Calendar app is guilty of this …

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Proactive Stories September 2, 2015

The fourth-generation Apple TV, set to be unveiled at an event on September 9th and released in October, will feature a mix of new and familiar hardware, according to reliable sources. While the new device will sport a much faster processor than the current Apple TV, a color-matched remote control, and a somewhat larger body, it will lack support for 4K video streaming and have the same basic ports as the third-generation model…

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Proactive Stories September 1, 2015

Concept imagines Apple TV 4 UI w/ Siri, App Store, and more ahead of next week’s refresh

Ahead of a next-generation Apple TV expected to get an official unveiling at Apple’s press event next week, this concept from Andrew Ambrosino imagines a revamped user interface for the device.

We’ve reported extensively on the yet-to-be-announced, next-generation Apple TV and much of the concept from Ambrosino takes into account our reports regarding new features for the device. Most notably, we reported that Apple is currently planning Siri support, a new dedicated remote control, App Store access, and iOS 9’s improved Proactive search features.

The concept considers many of these features for the new Apple TV that will inevitably include a new UI to accommodate new functionality and navigation. However, with that in mind, we reported earlier that the overall aesthetic of the new Apple TV’s software will largely remain the same.

Earlier this month we reported that the fourth-generation Apple TV would arrive for customers in October for under $200 while Apple plans to keep the current, third-generation Apple TV around minus some of the new features included with the new hardware.

Apple is currently planning to unveil its next-generation Apple TV alongside new iPhone hardware and more at its press event scheduled for September 9th.

More images from Ambrosino’s concept below:

Proactive Stories August 17, 2015

Apple plans to hold one of its annual fall media events on Wednesday, September 9th to introduce the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus with Force Touch, and after many fits and starts, it appears that the long-awaited next-generation Apple TV will also be unveiled. We’ve been reporting on this upcoming model since 2014, as Apple has been planning to update its set-top-box with support for an App Store for quite some time.

Earlier this year, Apple had locked in a June WWDC debut for both the new Apple TV hardware and software upgrades, but the company ultimately decided to delay the introduction until the fall. While some had speculated that the announcement was pushed back due to a lack of content deals, we are told that the delay was internally attributed to a concern over compromising iOS 9 engineering resources, as the latest OS release is focused at least as much on polish as on new features.

Why would the new Apple TV potentially take away resources from iOS 9? According to sources, this new Apple TV model, codenamed J34, will be the first model to run a full-blown iOS core. Specifically, the new Apple TV operating system will be a TV-optimized version of iOS 9. In addition to the new hardware inside, running iOS 9 will give the new Apple TV a series of benefits over the current model. Below, we explore what users can expect from Apple’s next-generation living room product.

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Proactive Stories August 12, 2015

Flight tracking apps have been popular on iOS for as long as the platform had the App Store, and this fall Apple is baking a key function of those apps right into the operating system. A little known feature called ‘flights data detector’ is included in both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan but was not highlighted on stage during Apple’s WWDC keynote. As one Reddit user highlighted, the feature lets iOS automatically detect when text is referencing a flight and allows users to actually check on the flight’s status and progress with an attractive interface. Here’s how it works on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac… expand full story

Proactive Stories August 3, 2015

I was genuinely excited when my colleague Mark Gurman revealed iOS 9’s Proactive — Apple’s competitor to the Android assistant Google Now — because it sounded like something that would radically improve my daily iPhone use. “Like Google Now,” Mark said, “Proactive will automatically provide timely information based on the user’s data and device usage patterns,” details Apple confirmed when it officially announced Proactive at WWDC. Google Now’s success made an Apple response inevitable: who wouldn’t want an iPhone that correctly anticipated your needs, reducing your time spent manually hunting for information?

But unlike Google, which Apple CEO Tim Cook has portrayed as a miner of personal data for “God-knows-what advertising purpose,” Apple has positioned itself as a champion of user privacy. As such, Proactive apparently doesn’t use cloud servers to process your personal data, which Google has done to great effect. Instead, iOS processes data directly on your device, so its scope — whatever your device is holding — and utility are a lot more limited. Consequently, the iOS 9 beta version of Proactive doesn’t do much; its features could have appeared on the annual WWDC slide that flashes 50 new iOS additions on screen for less than a minute before disappearing.

Readers, I’d like to ask you a question. We’ve seen what Google and third-party developers are currently doing with Google Now cards, and it’s pretty awesome — everything from helping you manage commutes (like Proactive) and trips (way beyond Proactive) to finding TV shows, scheduling return taxi rides, and sending birthday greetings. My question: would you rather see Apple slowly iterate on Proactive as it sorts through each new feature’s privacy implications, or tackle Google Now with a bolder and more powerful Proactive, privacy be (mostly) damned? A poll is below…

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