iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:57:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apple Updates Maps Application in Japan, with Bug Fixes and Enhancements Tue, 12 Mar 2013 16:06:55 +0000 Read More]]> Apple Maps Japan

On Monday, Apple quietly updated the Maps application in Japan, releasing a number of bug fixes and enhancements to the app. Apple was expected to release these fixes in early February with iOS 6.1.1, however, released a number of iOS updates addressing Passcode lock bugs and iPhone 4S carrier issues.

Japanese site, Macotakara first noted the update, which shows that a number of the issues are solved through the server and did not require a change to the operating system. With iOS 6.1.1, which was later released to developers as iOS 6.1.3, Apple compiled a list of fixes in the release notes including improved pronunciation of roads during turn-by-turn navigation and other enhancements. The full list of notes from iOS 6.1.1, which is included in this update is below:

iOS 6.1.1 beta 1 includes the following improvements to Maps for Japan:

– Improved pronunciation of roads during turn-by-turn navigation
– Optimized directions to more strongly prefer highways over narrower roads
– Now indicates upcoming toll roads during turn-by-turn navigation
– Added labels for junctions, interchanges, on-ramps, off-ramps, and intersections
– Added indicators for transit station buildings, subway lines, and traffic lights
– Updated freeway color to green
– Updated icons for some location categories including fire stations, hospitals, and post offices Added 3D buildings including Tokyo Station, Japan Imperial Palace, and Tokyo Tower

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Hyundai Adds Support for Apple’s ‘Siri Eyes Free’ Feature Thu, 10 Jan 2013 19:37:37 +0000 Read More]]> Hyundai Adds Support for Apple Siri Eyes Free Feature

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas always brings to light the newest and most advanced technology related to the mobile devices industry. Often during this event, many company’s unveil iPhone cases and other technology for Apple’s iOS devices. During the first official day of CES 2013, Hyundai, a leading South Korean car manufacturer, announced that it will now support Apple’s “Siri Eyes Free” feature in some its newer cars. The company has synchronized Siri’s commands with its infotainment systems inside of the car.

As a result, users can seamlessly make calls directly through their phones, listen to texts, and play music without having to go through a layer of software from Hyundai. The system does, however, require an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6.

The Siri Eyes Free feature was introduced alongside iOS 6 and is slowly becoming standard with car manufacturers, with Hyundai being the tenth auto maker to adopt the new feature. Other companies include, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, Honda, and GM. GM only supports two models, the Chevy Sonic and Spark.

With Siri Eyes Free, drivers now have Siri as a universal technology on their mobile devices, computers, and now their cars as well. Hyundai has also added other technology to help make the experience with voice navigation and Siri much better for drivers:

Dragon Drive: Developed by Nuance, this automotive-grade voice services platform enables drivers to speak naturally and conversationally with in-car systems for tasks such as dictating messages, searching for music, finding real-time weather and asking for directions.

Mobile High-Definition Link: Delivers 1080p60 uncompressed video with up to eight channels of digital audio from a mobile device to a dashboard display, all while charging the device.

Next-Generation Hardware: Hyundai’s new vehicles will feature the latest hardware with high-resolution multi-touch displays, Bluetooth 3.0, and Wi-Fi/3G connectivity options.

{Via AppleInsider}

]]> 2 Apple Looking to Purchase Turn-by-Turn Navigation Company, Waze? Sat, 05 Jan 2013 19:27:49 +0000 Read More]]> Apple Looking to Purchase Turn-by-Turn Navigation Company Waze

Apple removed Google services from its iOS software with iOS 6, shedding both the native YouTube application, as well as Google Maps. Apple replaced Google Maps with its own Maps application, and included new features such as FlyOver and Turn-by-Turn directions. According to a report from TechCrunch, Apple is looking to improve its Maps, by acquiring turn-by-turn navigation company, Waze.

Waze brings a number of social features to navigation, allowing users to add in their own information as they travel. The service then learns from the routes traveled and provides routing and real-time traffic updates to others. Waze is already a partner in Apple’s Maps application, however, an acquisition would make the current Maps app much better. Apple’s Maps application launched to intense scrutiny after the service failed to locate some areas improperly and removed highly utilized features such as public transportation information.

TechCrunch’s own MG Siegler believes that it is unlikely that Apple is looking to purchase Waze and mentions that the two companies are likely in low-level discussions, having worked together prior to these reports.

Apple has been reported to be hashing out a deal with Foursquare for its Maps app. However, TechCrunch’s earlier report notes that if Apple were to acquire Waze, it would benefit the company more than data from Foursquare as it would not only be cheaper but because “Check-In” apps tend to not be as accurate as navigation apps.

Because Waze maps are built on the location of moving cars, it’s far more accurate than check-in apps. Outside of Google’s project to map cities with Streetview cars – something which has taken years to complete – and the real-world mapping undertaken by volunteers on the Open Streetmaps open source project, there has been little to match Waze’s approach. Waze turned mapping into not only a game, but also a way for drivers to be social, reporting road obstacles, traffic and police traps. It is properly useful.

Waze has about 30 million users and is available for iOS, Android Windows Mobile, Maemo, Symbian, and BlackBerry OS (beta). It is also listed as one of the alternative apps for users unhappy with Apple’s Maps after Apple CEO Tim Cook compiled a list to address user complaints.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple Inc. (AAPL) Fires Manager of iOS 6 Maps Team Wed, 28 Nov 2012 19:22:38 +0000 Read More]]> iOS 6 Maps 3D flyover

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Apple Inc. (AAPL) has fired the manager of the iOS 6 Maps team, Richard Williamson. Williamson lead the team that created the new iOS 6 Maps, which many users complained was not very useful, and was not entirely accurate in providing directions. In many cases, the Maps would display a location in the wrong city or country, and sometimes even in the middle of the ocean.

Following a major management shake up at AAPL, which removed Scott Forstall as SVP of iOS Software, Eddy Cue took over the role of managing Maps. Forstall was also reportedly involved “internal politics” at Apple, which also added to the decision for Forstall to be removed. This was one of Cue’s first major changes in his new position, looking for outside assistance now to help move Maps on iOS forward.

A team at Apple has been working to fix the mapping mistakes, focusing first on some of the most glaring problems, one person said. The satellite imagery over the U.K. has been improved and labels for popular U.S. landmarks such as the Washington Monument have been corrected.

The Maps application included in iOS 6 was essentially a 1.0 version, meaning that the Maps team was under an intense time crunch, and was not able to work out many of the kinks generally associated with any new application. Bloomberg also notes that the Maps team is working to fix many of the known issues, while Apple will likely begin searching for a new manager, capable of leading the existing Maps team.

{Via iMore — Image Credit: Apple}

]]> 0 Apple CEO Publishes Open Letter Regarding Maps for iOS 6 Thu, 04 Oct 2012 16:19:39 +0000 Read More]]> Apple CEO Open Letter Maps

iOS 6 was released to the public a little more than a week ago already complaints have flooded the internet over the fact that Apple’s new iOS Maps app does not offer walking and transit directions like Google’s Maps. Other complaints included Maps getting directions and places wrong, with one user claiming that there was a city that Maps located in the middle of the ocean.

Apple CEO Tim Cook finally addressed the complaints by issuing an open letter, noting that as users begin to use Maps more, the better it’ll get. The full letter can be seen below.

To our customers,

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO

Several hours after Cook published the letter, Apple updated the App Store with a new feature sections called “Map Apps”. In his letter, Cook mentioned to users that they can download free apps such as Waze and MapQuest until iOS Maps improved.

Find maps for your iPhone

The new sections includes a range of different map applications from companies such as Waze, Mapquest, Garmin, Bing, and MotionX, offering transit directions, walking directions, as well as separate turn by turn navigation apps. With Cook’s letter and the addition of the new App Store section, it show’s that Apple is taking criticism of its iOS Maps very seriously and is looking to correct the issue momentarily until their own mistake is corrected in the long term.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 2 Rock(s) Rider Review – Fun and Challenging Racing Game on Two Wheels Mon, 20 Aug 2012 17:00:50 +0000 Read More]]> Rocks Rider review_5

While car racing games dominate the App Store racing market there are those that prefer 2 wheeled transport and for those people there’s a new ride in town in the form of Rock(s) Rider, a new universal game that’s available in the App Store right now.

Rock(s) Rider is a trials based motorcycle game where your opponents are both a variety of obstacles and the clock and is based in a DaftPunk style warehouse full of ramps, jumps, loops and fireworks, yes fireworks!

If you’ve played Bike Baron before then you’ll have the basic idea of what you are in for here, however while Bike Baron is cartoon style arcade game, Rock(s) Racer is more of a simulator, with a few bells and whistles added for good measure.

Rocks Rider review

The graphics look great, from the line-drawn design on the I game navigation to the industrial graphics of the levels themselves you aren’t going to be disappointed and the pleasure is matched in the audio department too where a pumping soundtrack and great sounding audio effects create an environment which you’ll want to keep coming back to.

Despite the claustrophobic confines of the warehouse each level is packed with action and controlling your two wheeled chariot over and through these obstacles is fun, challenging and at times frustrating.

These frustrations come from some of the level designs which can often leave your motorcycle trapped in a position that it can’t get out of. Sure you can go back to your last check point but the fact that you can even get stuck is, as I mentioned before, frustrating.

That frustration aside the game is a lot of fun, the controls are accurate and have multiple configurations so that you can choose between virtual buttons and touch controls but a combination of them both too, add to that the ability to control the sensitivity of them means that you have no excuse to control your bike with skill and accuracy!

Rocks Rider review_4

And the bike responds well to these controls to and after a few rides you should be able to get the bike to do pretty much as you please. Of course that may sound like the challenge to the game is over at that point, you’d be wrong though as the real challenge comes not only from control the bike but from anticipating the tracks, collecting the relevant objects and finding the hidden objects too.

All of this takes place across 24 progressively difficult levels, bonus levels and additional levels promised at a later stage too, as you progress you will unlock features for your bike and character as well as a 3 wheeled bike that you can use on the bonus levels. Once you think you’ve mastered the various tracks though you’ll find yourself racing side by side with the bosses who are out to prevent you taking their crown.

Leaderboards and 40 achievements are provided via GameCenter integration which provide additional challenge to the game and while it’s a Universal app there is no synchronization of your progress between devices.

Rock(s) Rider, despite its frustrations, is a fun and challenging game, if you like you racing action on two wheels then this could be $2.99 well spent.

[rating: 4/5]

What we like

What to know

]]> 0 iOS 6 Adds Turn by Turn Navigation, Real Time Traffic and 3D Maps Sun, 17 Jun 2012 18:08:58 +0000 Read More]]> iOS 6 Maps 3D flyover

During Apple’s WWDC keynote event on Monday, the company introduced iOS 6 with a redesigned Maps application, built entirely from the ground up. Rumors that Apple was looking to abandon its reliance on Google’s Map data for its Maps app were around for quite some time, and now it has been confirmed.

The new and improved Maps application in iOS 6 adds a number of features not seen in the Google version included in iOS since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. All of the cartography was done by Apple, with images taken from airplanes from above for the 3D mapping portion of the data.

The new Maps app is based entirely off a Vector engine, providing smooth scrolling, panning and zooming when navigating maps. Features of the new Maps application include, turn-by-turn directions that can also be operated with Siri, local search for millions of businesses,, a crowd-sourced traffic service for real time updates on accidents and traffic issues, Yelp integration, and 3D mapping called ‘Flyover’. The Turn by Turn navigation is presented with street names, smooth, and can switch quickly from an overhead map to navigation.

Apple’s 3D Flyover feature is an excellent replacement for Google’s own Street View and allows users to pan, zoom, tilt, and rotate an almost real time 3D image. The 3D images allow for a 360° view of buildings and allows direct interaction with the picture, unlike the current version which can only be moved horizontally or vertically and is restricted at some points.

iOS 6 will be released publicly sometime during the fall timeframe of iPhone 5. Apple issued iOS 6 beta 1 to developers during the event on Monday and will release several betas before the public release.

{Image Credit: Apple}

]]> 2 Ahead of iOS 6 Release Google to Unveil the “Next Dimension” of Maps Mon, 04 Jun 2012 21:01:31 +0000 Read More]]>

Rumors of Apple abandoning Google Maps in iOS 6 have been around for quite some time, however, Google recently announced an event to discuss the next dimension of their Google Maps design.

In a report from 9to5Google, it was revealed that Google is looking to unveil “The Next Dimension of Google Maps”, only about a week prior to Apple’s own WWDC 2012 keynote event, where they are expected to release the details on the next version of its iOS platform.

At this invitation-only press gathering, Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Google Earth, will give you a behind-the-scenes look at Google Maps and share our vision. We’ll also demo some of the newest technology and provide a sneak peek at upcoming features that will help people get where they want to go – both physically and virtually. We hope to see you there.

Apple has been reliant on Google’s Maps technology since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007. According to a number of reports over the course of several months, the Cupertino company has been working on its own map technology for quite some time and will finally be moving away from Google Maps.

Apple and Google have been competing over the mobile space for a number of years, with Apple accusing Google of stealing their ideas and calling Android fragmented, and Google stating that iOS is tightly controlled and too closed. Google’s timing to release new updates is likely in response to Apple’s transition to inhouse operations on Maps technology, and to soften the blow of such a sudden loss in the mobile space, with Apple getting Google a large percentage of its mobile users.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 3 iPad 3 Launch Event Rumors: Senseg’s Haptic Feedback Coming to iPad Wed, 07 Mar 2012 16:35:12 +0000 Read More]]>  

iPad 3 Haptic feedback Senseg

With just less than two hours left for Apple’s iPad 3 media event to go live we are hearing about new features that could be included in the third-gen tablet. The latest rumor which has hit the web suggests that iPad 3 will feature Senseg’s technology to deliver ‘tactile sensations’ when the screen is touched.

When Pocket-Lint contacted Senseg to inquire about their technology being used in iPad 3 a company spokesperson responded saying, “We won’t be making any statements until after Apple’s announcement,”. While this does not confirm anything however, if we keep in mind that Apple’s iPad invite had words which read, “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” it’s not difficult to speculate that the word “touch” may have something to do with the haptic feedback technology.

Senseg’s technology will allow Apple’s iPad to “come alive with textures, contours and edges that users can feel.”

Using Senseg technology, makers of tablet computers, smart phones, and any touch interface device can deliver revolutionary user experiences with high fidelity tactile sensations. Your customers will Feel the Difference with Senseg,

The technology if featured in Apple’s iPad could open new possibilities for application developers and would certainly add the “wow” factor to the new iPad. With haptic feedback users will be able to feel different textures being displayed on their device and thus making tasks like typing, playing games or using navigation apps while driving a whole lot more fun and easier.

Apple has used accelerometer and gyroscope in iOS devices to open new possibilities. For example, in GarageBand for iPad 2 when playing the keyboard the pitch of the sound varied depending on how hard you press your finger. So, it won’t be surprising for Apple to add yet another technology to enhance the overall experience and make it feel like “magic”.

]]> 0 Job Listing Reveals Apple is Revamping Maps App for iOS Tue, 03 May 2011 21:29:52 +0000 Read More]]> Apple job description for Maps Application Dev

A new job listing on Apple’s website reveals the Cupertino company is currently revamping its Maps application for iOS. The listing is for an iOS Maps Application Developer who will “develop sophisticated user interfaces” and “add new and innovative features.” The Maps application that comes built-in to iOS has been begging for an update for some time. While it has seen new features here and there since it was first launched with the original iPhone, there is yet to be any significant changes.

The job listing would suggest a major revamp for the Maps application is one the way; including a new user interface and some brand new features. Apple has already made it clear from previous job listings that it is looking to take Maps “to the next level,” and the latest listing shows they mean business.

The full posting reads:

Come work for the team that revolutionized the mobile technology industry as it continues to define what computing looks like in a post-PC era. The Maps team is looking for a proactive and hardworking software engineer to join our team. Along with excellent skills in object-oriented software design and programming, the successful candidate will have real-world experience developing sophisticated user interfaces. Excellent communication skills are also a must, as you will be collaborating closely with Apple’s peerless human interface team to add new and innovative features.

Apple stated in a recent press release that it is currently developing navigation software for its iOS devices, which we would expect to see integrated into the Maps application. However, Apple said navigation features would come within the next “few years,” so we shouldn’t expect that anytime soon.

It’s possible that a revamped Maps application will launch with Apple’s iOS 5 software expected to be announced at WWDC this June. While it won’t include navigation features, it may still boast significant improvements and a new user interface.

[via 9to5 Mac] ]]> 0 Wi-Fi Only iPad 2 Can Use iPhone’s GPS When Tethered Wed, 16 Mar 2011 20:34:33 +0000 Read More]]>

One of the downsides – although there aren’t many of them – to Apple’s new iPad 2 is that if you purchase one of the Wi-Fi only models, it doesn’t come equipped with a GPS chip to pinpoint your location. So, if you purchased a pricey navigation application to use as a big, beautiful sat-nav on your iPad, you’re not going to get accurate results unless you go for a 3G model. However, there is a workaround; it seems that when you tether your iPad 2 to your iPhone, you can use its GPS as well as its data connection.

The feature was discovered by Kyle Carmitchel on a recent road trip, who was tethering his iPad to his iPhone 4 using the new Personal Hotspot feature introduced in iOS 4.3. Carmitchel found that when the two devices were hooked up to each other, the iPhone was feeding its GPS data to the iPad:

It is clear I am being fed GPS information from the phone, at what appears to be an interval of once a minute or so between refreshes (likely they didn’t do real time updating so as to go easy on the phone’s battery).

Without a GPS chip, the iPad is still able to locate itself using Wi-Fi hotspots; by taking the MAC address of the router the it’s connected to and looking it up in a database of router locations, the iPad can come up with an approximate location, but it’s not at all very accurate. However, by gathering an iPhone’s location data over a Personal Hotspot connection, the iPad can take advantage of the same pinpoint GPS accuracy as the iPhone.

At present, it’s hard to say whether this is compatible with the original iPad, or any iPhone earlier than the forth-generation device, but if it works well, you could save yourself a few bucks on the iPad if you were planning to pay extra for the GPS chip. However, if the location data is only fed to the iPad once a minute as Carmitchel describes, it still may not be accurate enough for some navigational purposes.

[via Cult of Mac] ]]> 3