Laws on the books to stop texting or talking on a cell phone while driving are nothing new, in fact I know a guy who just got slammed with five points on his license for doing it. But laws regarding cell phone use while driving leave a gray area, GPS and map aids, programs not within the spirit of the laws when they were made and an uncertainty for courts.
The government is looking to change that.
The Transportation Department has asked congress to give them the ability to regulate map aids and devices as part of their ongoing battle with 'distracted driving.' The measure is part of the GROW AMERICA proposed transportation bill, and would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration free reign to set restriction and limits on apps and down the line demand changed to any it deems dangerous.
What does this mean in a practical sense? Apps for maps might start to look like the built in GPS system in your car, where some models make you press a button acknowledging that you will not set the device while the car is moving. It might mean that telling the court you were just checking your map won't get you off.
The measure has support from automakers who have already built those safeguards into their GPS devices. Regulatory agencies maintain that they already have the authority to regulate these apps as vehicle equipment, and only want it written into law.
That means they don't have the authority or they would not be demanding it from congress.
As we'd mentioned earlier, Apple has pushed out the OS X 10.9 Mavericks Golden Master seed to developers. Along with the update, an update to iPhoto is also available. Here are some of the changes Apple is promoting for iPhoto 9.4.7:
- iCloud Photo Sharing: iPhoto sports improved Photo Stream sharing, allowing you to both share photos and videos with friends and family, and subscribe to streams that have been shared with you, right in iCloud. This includes the ability to add new content to streams, comment, and more.
- Apple Maps integration: For images with location metadata, iPhoto now uses Apple Maps to show high quality imagery of the places where your photos were taken.
- Improved local printing: Printing off hard copies of your images has been improved with a focus on improving ease of use.
- Photo projects: The ability to choose photos that can be used to create books, greeting cards, calendars, and more has been improved.
- Mavericks compatibility: iPhoto is ready to take advantage of OS X Mavericks technologies and APIs.
You can grab the new version of iPhoto by updating in the Mac App Store.
Apple has snatched up Locationary, a Toronto-based startup which crowdsources location data, to help better bolster Apple Maps with up to date local business information. Details of the acquisition have not been disclosed as of yet, but it is smart acquisition and should pay off in the long run. What separates Locationary from the likes of Google, Yelp, and FourSquare is that it gives crowdsourced users monetary incentives to help provide up-to-date and accurate information. Locationary then sells the data to other location providers. Think of Locationary as a mapping Wikipedia for local businesses. From the start, Apple was criticized for its mapping efforts, leading to the dismissal of iOS head Scott Forstall, but, over time, has dispelled much of the contention by remedying its initial short comings. Today shows that Apple is not letting up on their goal of providing the best mapping solution. Here's a short video of founder and CEO of Locationary, Grant Richie.
Read More | AllThingsD
Apple has announced Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks at this mornings WWDC 2013 keynote. Stepping away from the big cats theme, the new version of OS X takes on a new California-based naming scheme. Key features in OS X Mavericks include a tabbed Finder, tagging, support for full-screen apps on multiple displays, and more. AirPlay connected HDTVs can even acts as full-on monitors as well now. There's also a new, lighter font used across the OS as well.
Other technologies include App Nap, which keeps active apps optimized and background apps still available without taking up precious resources. If an app is visible, it gets power, but if it is covered by other apps and running in the background, resources for that app are reduced. Timer Coalescing is a feature which reduces CPU utilization up to 72%, and compressed memory optimizes the inactive memory in your Mac to give it better performance.
Continue past the break for more on OS X Mavericks!
Apple is set to show off OS X 10.9 at WWDC 2013 (which sold out in less than two minutes this year) and the current rumors point to the inclusion of a tabbed Finder and iOS-style multitasking that will allow background apps to pause, freeing system resources up for the apps you are using at the time. Additionally, the Mission Control complaint that users with multiple monitors have been complaining about since the release of OS X 10.7 Lion will finally be addressed--if you have multiple monitors, you'll be able to have a space open on each one.
Other rumor mill nuggets point to both Siri and Apple Maps making their OS X debuts as well. We'll know more on June 10 when WWDC kicks off!
Read More | 9to5Mac
Apple has just released iOS 6.1.3 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update brings a fix for a security bug that allows the home screen passcode to be bypassed through Passbook, as well as major map improvements in the Japan region. Jailbreakers beware, though, as it seems that Apple has also closed the software loophole that allows for the untethered jailbreak of iOS 6 in this version. If you're ready to update, head to the Settings apps, and then go into General, and select Software Update--or, just connect your iOS device to your PC or Mac and fire up iTunes.
Google has released an update for Google Maps for iPhone, adding new search icons to make it easier and faster to find points of interest, as well as integration with your Google Contacts, which makes it easier to find friends. The search icons include things like restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and other typical POIs. The way the contacts work is, if you have your friends address saved, then you can search for their name and have their address pop up on the map--it isn't meant to find your friends by location in real-time. You can download Google Maps for iPhone 1.1 now in the App Store.
Read More | Google Maps for iPhone
Google has finally reincarnated its map offering and is free of charge in Apple's App store for your consumption. The app promises features that the fabled old stock maps didn't offer like voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation. It has been said by AllThingsD that Apple chose to do its own mapping solution because Google wouldn't offer that specific feature for iOS. My initial impression of the app is that it is visually appealing, and we are glad to see that Street View is present, along with public transit info. The most important thing is that the new Google Maps is vector-based, so navigating the map should be buttery smooth. Google reps have admitted that it's even better than maps for Android. Here's the run down of the features in the Google Maps reboot:
Read More | Google Maps for iOS
Siri and Apple Maps could come in the OS X 10.9. 9to5Mac is reporting that early builds of OS X 10.9, which was in development alongside OS X 10.8, include the iOS artificial intelligence agent, otherwise known as Siri, and Apple's take on maps as well. All this is according to their reliable sources, who shall remain nameless.
Read More | 9to5Mac
Apple has just released iOS 6.1 beta 2 as an over-the-air download a few minutes ago. This release comes just 11 days after the initial iOS 6.1 beta was released to developers, alongside the public release of iOS 6.0.1. iOS 6.1 will make it easier for users to report issues with the Apple Maps data, bring better music controls to the lock screen, makes it easier to find Passbook apps, and more. If you're already running the iOS 6.1 beta, check Software Update in your settings app to grab the latest update - if not, head over to the Dev Center for the download!