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Apple acquires Metaio, an augmented reality company

Apple has made yet another acquisition in the form of Metaio, a small augmented reality company, TechCrunch reports. Metaio launched in 2003 as a result from a project at Volkswagen, and the company has worked on a number of virtual reality and augmented reality projects, including the 2010 launch of Junaio, one of the very first augmented reality apps for the iOS platform. A legal document sourced by TechCrunch notes that shares in the company were transferred to Apple on May 21-22. Although Apple’s response was the usual standard boilerplate confirmation: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” there are several readily apparent possibilities as to what Apple may be planning to do with Metaio, particularly in light of recent news that Apple may be bringing augmented reality features to iOS 9.

Gear: Spigen Apple Watch Cases

Spigen has introduced a number of Apple Watch covers in its Apple Watch Case Collection. We received Rugged Armor ($15), Slim Armor ($20), Thin Fit ($15), and the clear Liquid Crystal ($15, not pictured) for the 42mm Apple Watch. There’s also a Tough Armor ($25) edition. The covers are designed to provide extra protection for the Apple Watch, with the models varying slightly in design and thickness.

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Review: Spigen Apple Watch Stand S330

Spigen's Apple Watch Stand S330 ($25) is a straightforward stand for docking and charging Apple Watch. Made mostly of lightweight aluminum, the stand holds Apple Watch's magnetic charging cable puck with a small black section of TPU. The charging cable is fed through a hole in the side of the dock, then up into the circular cut-out, where the magnetic charging puck holds the Apple Watch. Apple Watch Stand S330 isn't very tall, so users may want to keep their watch band curled up when docked.

Apple stuck with court-appointed antitrust monitor

Apple’s appeal to the courts to have its appointed antitrust monitor dismissed has been rejected, the The Wall Street Journal reports. Former Justice Department inspector general Michael Bromwich had been appointed to assess and oversee Apple’s antitrust compliance policies after the company was found liable in conspiring to raise e-book prices back in 2013. Since that time, Apple has been trying to have Bromwich dismissed, arguing that he has been exceeding the scope of his mandate, and that his fees were “exorbitant.” According to Bromwich, Apple has become uncooperative with the monitor in recent months, inappropriately limiting his access to necessary corporate records and denying requests for interviews with key personnel.

In a decision handed down earlier today, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that Bromwich’s role was “appropriately constrained” and noted that Apple can continue raising objections in the lower court if it believes Bromwich has overstepped his bounds. Mr. Bromwich’s role was clarified by the court in early 2014, in a decision which made it clear that Apple was required to cooperate with the antitrust monitor, but that his role was limited to ensuring that “Apple has policies in place to prevent future antitrust violations and that senior executives and board members understand them.” One of the judges in today’s decision further noted that Apple failed to follow the court-mandated dispute resolution process in dealing with the monitor, instead choosing to sit “on its hands, allowing issues with the monitor to fester and the relationship to deteriorate, mostly without the district court’s knowledge.”

Apple to unveil rewards system for Apple Pay

Apple is preparing to unveil a new rewards program tied to Apple Pay, according a new report by The New York Times. According to sources familiar with Apple Pay, the service could be unveiled as early as next month — likely at WWDC — and would provide perks to consumers who make purchases through the Apple Pay service. No further details are available, and it’s unclear whether these rewards would be tied to specific bank and card issuers or specific retailers.

Daily Deal: HUSKK Quickdraw Phone Case & Wallet

In today’s iLounge Deal we’re offering the HUSKK Quickdraw Phone Wallet Case for only $24.99 – that’s almost 50% off the regular price. This hybrid wallet case helps you lighten your load by holding your iPhone and up to 7 cards and a bit of cash. Made from Italian leather, the case is both stylish and functional, and includes a hidden magnetic closure and a convenient “quick-access” slot for cash or a frequently-used card, and a “Face Down” screen guard even provides screen protection.

Get the HUSKK Quickdraw Phone Wallet Case for only $24.99

GM bringing CarPlay to 14 of its 2016 Chevy models

General Motors has announced planes to bring Apple’s CarPlay to 14 of its 2016 Chevy models, Re/code reports. At Code Conference 2016, GM CEO Mary Barra announced that the software will be offered across the “full range of consumer models” from the Corvette to the Spark, and she went on to note that GM also has plans to integrate CarPlay into its other brands “soon.” This integration will make GM the first major U.S. automaker to integrate CarPlay across a widespread lineup of mainstream cars.

Tip of the Day: Find My Friends: Consolidating friends from multiple accounts

Likely as a consequence of the tighter integration of location sharing in iOS 8, Apple made an interesting change to its Find My Friends app, basically tying it to the primary iCloud account configured on the iOS device’s settings, rather than allowing it to use its own, independent Apple ID. If you were using a separate Apple ID for Find My Friends from the one that you use for your other iCloud services such as Calendars and Contacts, you’ll be stuck in a situation with data in two different accounts, and you most likely had to leave your friends behind when you upgraded to iOS 8.

The good news is that while it’s not obvious, Apple has provided a way to move your friends from another account into the one currently being used by Find My Friends. You can do this by tapping on your own image where it says “Me” at the bottom of the main Find My Friends screen to bring up your settings, and then scrolling to the very bottom where it will show you which Apple ID you’re signed in with — there it should provide a link to “Move friends from a different Apple ID.” Simply tap on this and and the Find My Friends app will take you through the process of logging into another iCloud ID so that you can move your friends list from there into your current one. You can repeat this step as often as you like to consolidate your friends lists into a single account.…

Upcoming kit will allow developers to build native Apple Watch apps

Apple plans to debut a more advanced software development kit for the Apple Watch as early as next month, Re/code reports. At the Code Conference, Apple’s Chief Operations Officer Jeff Williams noted that the new SDK would allow apps like games to run directly on the watch as well as providing direct access to the Apple Watch’s built-in sensors. While the existing WatchKit SDK allows developers to build extensions for the Apple Watch into their iPhone apps, up until now third-party apps have not been able to function natively on the wearable device independently of the paired iPhone.

Apple may debut new ‘Proactive’ assistant with iOS 9

Apple is planning to expand Siri and Spotlight functionality in iOS 9 to provide a more effective personal assistant, 9to5Mac reports. Dubbed Proactive, the service is expected to be similar in concept to Google’s Google Now service that is available on Android devices and in Google’s iOS app, leveraging services such as Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and third-party apps to provide relevant information to the user based on their data and device usage patterns. Integration with Apple Maps is also expected to allow the service to display points of interest, which will apparently be presented in a new augmented reality interface. The new service will reportedly be an evolution of the Spotlight search feature in iOS, and appears to be designed to be accessible from a panel to the left of the home screen — similar to where Spotlight was located prior to the iOS 7 design refresh two years ago.






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