Default iPhone Weather App to Get More Accurate in iOS 8

 

Kara Swisher:

Of the many announcements made at Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference, one that did not garner as much attention concerned the pre-installed weather app on the iPhone.

The look, feel and data has been provided to Apple by Yahoo for many years, part of a deal that sends a lot of traffic back to the Internet portal and spurs a multitude of downloads of its own handsome weather app. So attractive, in fact, that the refurbishment of it was much touted by CEO Marissa Mayer and was well received by reviewers and users.

But in the fall, Yahoo’s weather relationship with Apple will be blown off the device, a development that is a big miss for Mayer, who has aggressively pushed the company’s mobile efforts as a key part of its turnaround.

That development is due to a very crafty deal engineered by former Yahoo board member and Weather Channel CEO David Kenny, who has essentially blown Yahoo off the key smartphone to be replaced by a new offering that he has been developing since he took over the weather news and information service last year. With it, he has unseated Yahoo from its important perch.

The irony? Yahoo’s weather app and services have long been powered by the Weather Channel, part of a longtime partnership it has had with the Silicon Valley Internet giant. In simple terms, Yahoo had slapped a pretty chrome cover on it and Weather Channel provided the more substantive back end and critical weather data.

I always found the weather information provided by the app to not always be accurate even when it was pouring with rain and had been for an hour or so – the app would still say the area I was in was currently cloudy. Let’s hope the Weather Channel provides more accurate information – it should do.

iPhone-Connected Vessyl Smart Cup Tracks Drinking Habits

 

Julie Clover:

Along with displaying nutritional information, Vessyl also keeps track of what a user drinks during the day, tallying statistics like calories consumed, caffeine levels, hydration, and more. Users can set goals within the app, tracking all of these metrics and more. Vessyl also tracks and estimates a person’s real-time hydration needs based on how much they drink, which is measured through the liquid level in the cup.

Vessyl, which holds 13 ounces of liquid, has a built-in display, a spill-proof lid, and a non-stick interior. It connects to an iPhone using Bluetooth 4.0 to upload nutrient data to its accompanying iPhone app, which also integrates with popular activity trackers. The cup lasts for five to seven days on a single charge and uses wireless charging.

Vessyl can be pre-ordered for $99, but will later retail for $199. It is available in three different colors (Shadow, Snow, and Steam) along with several accent lid colors, and it is expected to begin shipping in early 2015.

Interesting idea. Every day there seems to be a link to a new smart product. I can only see this being useful as an aid to a dietary program though.

New app Audibly lets you share your music wirelessly to nearby iOS devices

 

Mike Beasley:

A brand new app created by three 2013 WWDC student scholarship winners— Nick Frey, Chris Galzerano, and Veeral Patel—launched on the App Store earlier this month. The app is called Audibly, and it allows users to stream music from one device to any others nearby. The music plays in sync across all devices, allowing everyone to listen in on the same playlist.

The app is fairly straightfoward. You simply pick a playlist to share, pair with a few nearby iOS devices, and hit play. The connection is made over Wi-Fi when there’s a network available, or through a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection if the devices aren’t connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

From the app’s interface, you can control the volume of each individual device that’s connected and adjust the pitch and other effects. Users can also mark specific songs as a favorite to go back to that song later.

Audibly is available completely free on the App Store.

Smart idea and seems to work flawlessly.

Starbucks teams up with Duracell to place iPhone-compatible wireless chargers in coffee shops

 

Mike Beasley:

The program will place 100,000 of the Duracell chargers at specially-marked tables in each Starbucks location. Users would then be able to charge any phone using a compatible wireless charging system.

So far the program has only rolled out in a few stores, but it’s scheduled to reach more markets by next year. There’s not a timetable yet for when the rollout will be complete.

While the program is only available in a few stores right now, a page on the website for the initiative lists locations where the service is currently offered.

Seems like a smart idea – it will be interesting to see how the rollout is received 6 months down the line.

Edyn: Automatic Watering for Your Garden Plants

 

Edyn: Welcome to the connected garden. by Edyn:

The Edyn smart garden system lets you know what’s happening in your garden at all times. Whether you’re a novice gardener or managing a small-scale organic farm, Edyn is there to take the guesswork out of gardening. Inserted in the soil, the Edyn Garden Sensor gathers and analyzes data about changing weather and soil conditions. The Edyn App displays this data as a real-time snapshot of your garden, and pushes alerts and suggestions to maximize plant health. A separate component, the Edyn Water Valve, uses the data collected by the sensor to smartly control your existing watering system, watering your plants only when needed. With advanced tracking technology and intuitive design, the Edyn smart garden system keeps you connected to your garden or farm so you can grow healthier plants.

 

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Let there be water – exactly when your plants need it and precisely the right amount. Unlike pre-set sprinklers, the Edyn Water Valve automatically controls your existing water system based on data collected by the Garden Sensor, and adapts to every change in the weather forecast. You’ll save water, lower your utility bills and never worry about thirsty plants again. You can also use the Edyn app to manually control the Water Valve, allowing you to water your plants from anywhere.

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The Edyn smart garden system lets you know what’s happening in your garden at all times. Whether you’re a novice gardener or managing a small-scale organic farm, Edyn is there to take the guesswork out of gardening. Inserted in the soil, the Edyn Garden Sensor gathers and analyzes data about changing weather and soil conditions. The Edyn App displays this data as a real-time snapshot of your garden, and pushes alerts and suggestions to maximize plant health. A separate component, the Edyn Water Valve, uses the data collected by the sensor to smartly control your existing watering system, watering your plants only when needed. With advanced tracking technology and intuitive design, the Edyn smart garden system keeps you connected to your garden or farm so you can grow healthier plants.

Great idea for garden enthusiasts. Again, tie this in with SmartThings or Apple and that automatic home gets ever closer to reality.

Honeywell turns up the heat with the Lyric smart thermostat

 

John Callaham:

Lyric’s biggest bullet point is its use of geofencing. In basic terms, when a person leaves their home with their smartphone, the Lyric senses when they depart and adjusts the temperature inside to a level designed to save money. When that same person makes the return trip home, the Lyric again detects when the person is getting close and adjusts the temperature again to make sure that the home is comfortable again when the home owner enters.

So we have Nest, Hive and now Honeywell’s Lyric battling to be king of the thermostat. It’s like this – whoever opens up their API’s so that they may work with other applications like SmartThings and now Apple will get my cash..

Amazon Kindle app for iPad & iPhone gains Audible audio book integration

 

AppleInsider:

Amazon’s official Kindle app for iPad and iPhone has been updated to include integration with audio versions of titles when purchased through the service Audible, as well as cloud syncing with Whispersync for Voice.

Kindle for iOS, as well as Google’s Android, now allows users to switch between reading and listening without leaving the app, as long as they own both the Kindle and Audible versions of a title. The free update is now available.

Nice update from the Kindle team there.

New iOS 8 Features That Android Actually Needs to Adopt

 

Droid Life:

Apple is done with its WWDC keynote, where they introduced a bunch of new features for iOS 8, plus a new version of OS X called Yosemite. We poked fun at a handful of them already, but believe it or not, we are also capable of giving props when we see something cool or that we would like to see on Android at some point. I know, I know, you are probably wondering what I have been drinking over the last couple of hours, but hang with me for a second. You have to admit that Apple is really doing a great job at making all of the experiences seamless from iPhone to iPad to computer. They are also doing a pretty impressive job when it comes to making it easy to get in touch with or share things with the people you chat with the most.

So here we go – these are the iOS 8 features that were introduced today that we actually found to be pretty cool. Feel free to agree or disagree, of course

Interesting that Apple can still impress the Android Fan boys. Those guys from Cupertino might be doing something right after all..

via BGR.

Sky Go adds ITV support just in time for the World Cup

 

Richard Devine:

Sky TV’s popular mobile service, Sky Go, just got more useful for football fans on the go by adding ITV to its list of supported channels just in time for the Fifa World Cup. Or, if you’re just into regular TV, you’ll be well taken care of by the other channels since it includes ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV.

In addition, the Sky exclusive ITV Encore channel will also be available when it launches, and customers also get access to a ton of ITV box-sets and on-demand content. The channels should be added to the service today, so go ahead and fire up Sky Go on your phone or tablet and take a look.

Nice.