Developers are quickly losing interest in developing apps for Apple’s watchOS because of the platform’s limited independence, Business Insider reports. Realm VP Tim Anglade, whose company’s database is used by around 100,000 app developers, said while apps for tvOS are on the upswing, new apps for Apple Watch have seen a massive decline in 2016. “On a weekly basis we’re seeing very few Watch apps, compared to iOS apps,” Anglade said. “For every 1,000 new iOS apps being built, there are 10 tvOS apps and maybe 1 Watch app.”
New technology obtained from Apple’s acquisition of VocalIQ last year is poised to drastically improve Siri’s search capabilities, Business Insider reports. One unnamed source said VocalIQ’s AI was able to answer complex questions like, “Find a nearby Chinese restaurant with open parking and Wi-Fi that’s kid-friendly,” 90 percent of the time, greatly improving on the 20 percent averaged by Google Now, Siri and Cortana.
India’s government dealt Apple’s plans for expansion another setback Monday, formally rejecting the company’s request to sell used iPhones in the country, Live Mint reports. Tim Cook had defended Apple’s request during his Indian tour, saying the company has similar programs in countries all over the world to sell refurbished phones that the company has restored to a “pristine level’ but made available at a lower price.
In today’s iLounge Deal we have a great offer on Scrivener 2, back for two days only, for $22.50 — 50% off the regular price. This award-winning writing app, used by New York Times best-selling authors, takes the pain out of writing a novel in your typical word processor. Combining a wordsmith and project management tool, Scrivener 2 lets you outline your ideas, take notes, view research, and more, all in a single integrated application. You can view and edit different sections of your work in isolation or as a whole, easily storyboard and rearrange your project, and even switch to a scriptwriting mode for automatic formatting and export to a dedicated scriptwriting app. Get started on that novel you’ve been putting off for years with Scrivener 2.
Apple may be planning to include facial recognition technology in its rumored Siri device, according to CNET. Sources for the report indicated that Apple has “explored putting a camera in its device” with facial recognition technology that could detect who is in a room, and could then activate personal music and lighting profiles.
Apple is “working rapidly” to launch Apple Pay farther and wider in the European and Asian markets, Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s VP of Apple Pay revealed an interview with TechCrunch. While Apple Pay is available in only six countries right now — the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, China, and Singapore — Bailey stated that Apple’s goal is to have Apple Pay available in “every significant market that Apple is in. Bailey confirmed Apple’s plans to expand the service to Hong Kong and across the Asia Pacific region, noting that the company is “talking to many partners” to determine how rapidly the service can be rolled out elsewhere. Leaks in February indicated that France and Brazil may also be on the list for this year, and Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted earlier this month that Apple may also be considering a rollout in India soon.
In our iLounge Deal for today, you can pick up iShowU Instant for Mac for only $12 — that’s 50% off the regular price. This fast and feature-packed screen recorder will help you record what’s happening on your computer and quickly and easily share it. Whether you’re a teacher preparing a class presentation or a gamer wanting to show off your skills, iShowU has you covered, with the ability to share directly to YouTube, Vimeo, and other OS X services, hide your icons and other desktop clutter with a single click, and choose between a quick basic interface or a more powerful advanced mode. You can also view the camera as a classic picture-in-picture view, full screen, or completely hide it, set frame rates as low as 1 fps to create time lapses, and watermark your recordings with text or images.
A new report claims that Apple is working on a Siri-based competitor to Amazon’s Echo, but suggests that the solution will come in the form of a refreshed Apple TV set-top box, rather than the standalone speaker reported earlier this week. A source has told VentureBeat that the plan is to build on the Apple TV to “solve problems with the existing box and remote control,” noting that Apple wants the “Apple TV to be just the hub of everything.” Apple is said to have considered several options, and a standalone speaker was indeed under consideration at one point — however, that option was dropped due to the amount of money Apple has spent on the development of the new Apple TV.
Pixelmator Team’s Pixelmator ($30) has become a go-to app when it comes to editing photos — it’s significantly cheaper than the 800 lb. gorilla that is Photoshop, and delivers most of the functionality that the typical user would need. Further, Pixelmator Team keeps enhancing it, and version 3.5 adds smarter selection tools and deeper integration with the OS X Photos app. The Quick Selection Tool and Magnetic Selection Tool have both been improved to make it easier to make detailed and precise selections, and a new Retouch Extension for Photos lets you take advantage of seriously advanced retouching tools without having to leave the Photos app.
Joby’s GorillaPod Speaker Stand ($40) is designed to hold a Bluetooth speaker, whether to elevate it for a better listening angle, or to keep it away from any kind of undesirable surface. GorillaPod has three flexible, wrappable legs with rubber feet. A platform and cinch cord rest on top of the tripod to firmly hold a small speaker. Underneath that platform is a 1/4”-20 mount, which will allow mountable speakers to attach directly to GorillaPod. Joby claims the tripod can support most Bluetooth speakers weighing up to 2.2 pounds.