This week saw news of two different Apple Watches on the market, but one isn't available yet, and one was released and was all bought up before most of you even had a chance. Intrigued? You should be. This week also saw what might be the final parting of Apple and Google Maps, and Cupertino partnering with, of all companies, IBM. And Mac continues to heat up as a gaming platform. That and more below the fold.
After so many years of relying on Google Maps for key apps on iOS and OS X, Apple is almost completely free from its competition's navigation service. Today the Cupertino company dropped Google Maps from iCloud.com, specifically for its Find My iPhone service.
Nokia might not have won many hearts in the smartphone space, but the Wall Street Journal reports that the Finnish company is now hoping it can attract your attention with its soon-to-be-released revamped HERE maps application. That's a tough gambit, especially considering how thoroughly Apple Maps and Google Maps dominate the space, but Nokia might be able to pull it off on the basis of one feature alone — it'll support offline maps without the need to download them beforehand.
We've got a little bit of iPhone 6 news coming your way, but if you've heard what they're saying in Thailand, you already know some of it. But what about those sapphire crystal displays? Who's going to get those? You? Your rich relatives? Well, let's see what the rumor mill is going on.
Google is showing a bit more attention on the iOS side of things lately. Last week, it split off Docs and Sheets apps (with Slides incoming) from Google Drive for increased visibility, and now today, the company updated its Google Maps app to a 3.0.0 version with several new and upgraded features. Chief among them is an official offline maps option, which lets you save them for network-free browsing — ideal for international travel or when exploring areas with minimal reception.
The big news Wednesday was no doubt Facebook's latest big acquisition, which left those of us who don't use the WhatsApp to ask, "What's the big deal?" instead. We can certainly think of at least a few other companies we'd have rather seen the social networking giant drop $19 billion on, but it will be interesting to see what the future holds. But first, let's take a trip backwards in time and catch up on everything else that happened yesterday...
Back in September, we gave Readdle's Calendars 5 pretty high marks in our review, despite the inability to send invitations — an oversight that has been corrected this week in what the developer calls "the biggest update yet."
With every update, Google manages to improve its own third-party apps a little more on the iOS platform. This week, both Google Maps and Google Drive received welcome updates that bring small but convenient features.
If there's one area where Apple has an undeniably poor record compared to chief competitor Google, it's in the implementation of its Maps app for iOS. It's improved a bit over the last few months after several fixes and acquisitions, but as MacRumors reports (via Alaska Dispatch), it's still apparently so buggy that was recommending that iOS users drive onto a airplane taxiway in order to reach Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska.
Google is moving quickly to capitalize on its recent acquisition of traffic service Waze, with real-time data now incorporated into the iOS and Android editions of the Google Maps app in a number of countries.