Thursday Morning News

Ars Technica writes Apple are making good on their promise to add interior maps of airports and shopping centres, with a bunch of new indoor maps of airports in the US going live today. Joining the interior maps of San Jose and Philadelphia airports are several airports spread across the country, including Miami International, Portland International, and O’Hare International, with Apple also promising interior maps of New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports, as well as a few international airports (mainly in Europe, none in Australia) coming soon.

Apple and GE have announced a deep partnership that means both will be developing tools and apps leveraging Apple’s deep understanding of the iOS platform. TechCrunch reports Apple sales people will push GE’s cloud-based Predix platform where it makes sense to, with GE standardising on iPhones and iPads, with Macs available as an option for computers.

AppleInsider points out an issue where iMessages on Macs running macOS High Sierra are delayed, with the possibility of delayed or non-existent notifications to your iPhone or Apple Watch. The only fix appears to be disabling Messages entirely on the Mac or going back to macOS Sierra, with all other suggested fixes only fixing the issue temporarily. Speculation says this is a residual issue related to how Apple wanted to implement Messages in iCloud.

Apple’s latest machine learning journal entry discusses how the “Hey Siri” feature works. You probably know that your iPhone is always listening for the “Hey Siri” keywords, with a neural network involved to determine if the user said “Hey Siri”, but did you know the sensitivity increases if the neural network isn’t completely confident that you said “Hey Siri”, resulting in a much higher likelihood to activate Siri on the second try?

Last week at iMore, Serenity Caldwell wrote about how all other smartwatches suck for women. It’s certainly a different perspective, and undoubtedly something Apple carefully considered when designing the Apple Watch. I mean, have you seen the designs of some other Android-based smart watches?

Flexibits have released Cardhop, a contacts app they’ll say you’ll want to use. Like Flexibits’ previous hit Fantastical, Cardhop lives in your menu bard, has an incredibly awesome icon that you’ll almost never see in day-to-day usage of the app, and has quickly accessible actions available at the click of a button. There’s a 21-day free trial available, otherwise you can buy via Flexibits directly for $22.99, or via the Mac App Store for the same.

A quick review of Cardhop from MacStories tells us about Cardhop’s cooler features, which includes integrations with other parts of the Mac to make phone calls, send emails, that kind of thing. You can customise the available actions to just those you actually use, but all of this assumes that you use a contacts app to manage the people you get in touch with, and not pre-existing mediums like Twitter or Messages.

Google is trialling third-party email support on its Gmail for iOS app. With the ability to add non-Google email accounts, Gmail for iOS will soon be competing with the likes of Spark, Outlook, and others, with the Android version of Gmail already supporting other mail services.

If you’ve been looking for awesome-looking desktop wallpapers and don’t want to go scouring the internet to find your favourites, why not let an app do all the hard work for you? Irvue takes a look at Unsplash to find way more high-resolution wallpapers than you could comfortably use, and there’s a separate version for screensavers. (There’s also Unsplash’s own Mac app, if you want to go direct to the source.)

One of the cooler stories I’ve read lately is how the Astropad developers added an extra button to iPads by using the front-facing camera. The front-facing camera as a button will make its debut in Luna Display, but the need for an additional button to allow for user interface changes meant they had to get creative.

Notable Replies

  1. Aside from the dock icon actually being an ugly choice in a post Mavericks world, I can’t personally see the need for this. Spotlight handles a lot of these features natively and most people’s natural workflow is to open the app they’re using and type the person’s name; if that person is in your contact list it auto populates anyway.

    I’ll be checking YouTube over the next few weeks to see how people are using it. I’m reading a lot of popular reviews on it today, but I seriously just don’t get it. If reviewers have found it faster, I’d like to see that in practice, but so far it seems like they’re favourable reviews because it’s a favoured developer, much like what we see when Tapbots or Marco Arment release something.

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