Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in Feb. that apps will make the Apple Watch essential and that users will be shocked to learn what it can do. Apple Watch owners will be able to use device to interact with apps in three ways: WatchKit Apps will allow users the ability to interact with apps directly on their Apple Watch, just like they do on their iPhone or iPad. Glances will provide "timely read-only information" when users glance at their watch display, and Actionable Notifications will allow users to "take action right from their wrists".
Apple released WatchKit and the first iOS 8.2 beta in November 2014 to let developers get started building their upcoming Apple Watch apps. iOS 8.2 will give users access to these apps from their iPhone when the update is released in April. You will need one of these iPhone models for your Apple Watch to interact with any apps.
Several news outlets reported this week that Apple is secretly working on creating some type of an electric vehicle. The Financial Times really got the Apple Car rumors rolling when it reported that the iPhone maker was hiring experts in the automotive industry including former CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Johann Jungwirth. The Wall Street Journal also filed a report claiming hundreds of Apple employees are working on creating a "minivan like vehicle," and an inside tipster told Business Insider that Tesla employees were “jumping ship” to work on the project.
ESPN's SportsCenter app received a major overhaul this week. The app not only received a name change to just ESPN, but it also now features iPad support. Version 4.2 of the app is available now as an OTA update or as a free download on the Apple App Store.
Apple on Thursday added a "Pay Once & Play" section to the App Store as part of its weekly refresh. The new category highlights "great games with no in-app purchases," for those who are tired of freemium titles. Apple also doubled the download size of apps from 2GB to 4GB, so developers can "include more media" in their submissions and "provide a more complete, rich user experience upon installation," according to the official announcement.
ESPN has rebranded its mobile app again, this time dropping SportsCenter from the name and adding iPad support for the first time. The SportsCenter app was retitled ESPN SportsCenter in 2013, but it is now just being called "ESPN." The update also adds optimization for the larger iPhone 6 models.
The new version of the app is basically the same as the previous version but now it takes advantage of the iPad's larger display. Users can still easily access the Scores and News categories plus ESPN NOW, which was added in version 4.0. The NOW section offers more breaking news than the News section which includes the day's top stories in a more classic long article format.
A new free-to-play RPG called Starship Captain: Adventure In Alpha Sector for the iPad is set to land on the App Store tonight. The strategy title was originally launched in 1995 as a web-based game called Space Pirate, before going through a few changes over the years. The latest version is a strategy game where players can travel from planet to planet to trade goods and seek adventure. Players can also take on missions, mine asteroids and plunder other ships to build their own space fortune.
The game features "arcade-like battles and short stories told through mission text, according to the developer's blog. The short stories will mostly be told at spaceport bars where players can talk to other characters from the game and hire crew. Players will also be able to upgrade their ship and will have to manage resources such as fuel.
Independent Finnish developer Almost Human has released the first gameplay trailer for the tablet version of Legend of Grimrock. The first person dungeon crawler made its debut for Windows and OS X in 2012 and spawned a sequel Legend of Grimrock II in 2014. In the game, players control a party of one to four characters as they explore dungeons and gain experience by slaying various monsters.
In the video you will see that the iOS version features touch screen controls for movement and swipe controls to cast spells.
Apple today posted a new video to its YouTube page titled "Make Music with iPad." The commercial features recording artist Elliphant, and DJ The Gaslamp Killer, using GarageBand and various third-party apps to create, record and perform music using Apple's tablet.
Apple also set up a page on its website revealing what apps are used in the video. The page titled, "Explore how Elliphant changes things up" reads:
"iPad is changing how we live, work, and create more and more each day. For recording artist Elliphant, it’s liberating her to make music in a radical new way. And whether she’s writing lyrics at home or recording on the road, iPad has become an essential part of her process. It was even used by director So Me to shoot this film."
It was a slow week for Apple news as the wait for the company's first wearable device continues. Apple is already preparing its retail employees for the upcoming launch of its Apple Watch in April. Retail stores will employ traditional jewelry store tactics to help sell the new device to walk-in customers, according to 9to5Mac. This will include allowing people to test out different bands and adding extra security features for the pricier gold models. The official release date of the Apple Watch is still unknown at this time.
Developers were able to publish their first impressions of the Photos for OS X app after Apple seeded the first beta of OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite on Thursday. Various tech blogs and major outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, were impressed by the new software.
SwiftKey has rolled out a huge update to its third-party iOS keyboard. Version 1.2 includes several features requested by users such as SwiftKey Flow for the iPad. Users can now type and use swipe gestures on their iPod touch, iPhone or iPad, and access over 800 emoji by using the smiley key. SwiftKey will also now learn and predict what emoji a user uses more often, just like it does with words and phrases.
Version 1.2 of the app also includes 11 new languages, and users can have up two languages enabled at one time. The 11 new languages include: Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Hinglish, Icelandic, Indonesian, Latvian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak and Turkish. Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi are currently being beta tested and will be added in a future update.
Dragons' Lair: Time Warp HD has landed on the App Store for the iPad. For those too young to remember, Dragon's Lair was one of the first fully animated video games to land in arcades in the 1980s. While the simple gameplay wasn't all that exciting, the art was a sight to behold in an 8-bit world. The game's bumbling hero and awesome cartoon death scenes also captured the imaginations of every kid who was lucky enough to experience it at the time.
In Dragon's Lair 2: Time Warp, players once again assume the role of the reluctant Dirk the Daring as he tries to save Princess Daphne from the clutches of the Evil Wizard Mordroc. Dirk must use a time machine to stop Mordroc from opening the Casket of Doom and forcing Daphne to marry him. Dragon's Lair 2: Time Warp HD is available now for $4.99. It supports all iPad models running iOS 6.0 or later.