Unity Dives Into The Rift With Virtual Reality Tools For Games

As the virtual reality boom draws near, developers have to adjust to a new software-making reality. Fortunately, game companies joining the ranks are bringing new tools with them specifically for creators of games and apps. The latest: Unity Technologies. See also: Google Jump Will Revolutionize Making Virtual-Reality ExperiencesTuesday, Unity Technologies, maker of the Unity game engine—the software powering many of today's most popular … [Read more...]

Microsoft’s Massive Surface Hub Opens For Orders July 1

Start making space in your conference rooms, IT managers: Microsoft will open its monster Surface Hub for orders on July 1, with shipping in September. See also: Holograms! Also, What Else Microsoft Announced At Its Windows 10 EventEssentially an oversized, touch-friendly tablet, the device will come with huge prices to match, at $7,000 (55-inch model) and $19,000 (84-inch model). The device is targeted at companies in need of massive … [Read more...]

Apple’s Mapping Battle With Google Hits The Streets

Apple's street fight with Google just became official: The iPhone maker confirmed that it's building its own mapping database, complete with Street View-style imagery, through a new page on its website. "Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps," the site reads. "Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates." See also: Here's What's New In iOS 9The … [Read more...]

How (And Why) Apple’s Obsessed With Our Health

This post first appeared on the Ferenstein Wire, a syndicated news service; it has been edited. For inquires, please email author and publisher Gregory Ferenstein.If you want an idea of how the phone in your pocket and watch on your wrist are trying to change you, Apple's announcements Monday are a great place to start. The company will offer new metrics for its expansive health-data monitoring system, Healthkit. Apple will begin tracking … [Read more...]

Nest May Drop A New Dropcam Next Week

The mystery of Nest’s June 17 event might have been solved, thanks to a just-discovered filing at the Federal Communications Commission. The Google-owned smart home company, which bought Dropcam last year, entered paperwork with the FCC for a new "wireless camera" of some sort. See also: Google's Offering Smarter Tools For Smarter Apps And HomesSpotted by 9to5Google, the FCC application by Nest Labs Inc. was submitted and approved in … [Read more...]

Twitter’s Latest Tweak Aims To Cut Out The Noise In Conversations

Twitter engineers are on a never-ending quest to balance quality with quantity. Too much of the firehose, and it becomes unusable; too little, and ... well, you're just left with Facebook Lite. On Monday, they rolled out another tweak which attempts to nudge the balance back towards quality.The new change applies to conversation pages for individual tweets. Before today, viewing a single tweet or conversation page would show all the replies … [Read more...]

Why The iPad Pro Is More Likely Than Ever

By now, the notion of a work-optimized iPad Pro is a cliché, with rumors about Apple's not-quite-a-laptop having circulated for years. But with Monday’s reveal of new features coming to iOS 9-powered Apple tablets, the long-awaited release of the iPad Pro finally seems more like inevitability than fantasy. The company certainly wants to give its prized tablet a boost, considering the device's slumping sales. Apparently, Apple sees … [Read more...]

Funding The Web With Ads: This Outdated Model Has To Go

I hate ads. I hate them so much that I've banished them from my life. It's always a shock to see ads when I borrow someone else's browser, as Adblock Plus long ago gifted me an ad-free online life. Striking back, companies like Hulu are determined to force us to watch insipid, often irrelevant ads just to watch old Saturday Night Live skits ("I've gotta have more cowbell!"). Other sites blow incredible stores of time, talent and … [Read more...]

What Apple Open-Sourcing Swift 2 Means For App Makers

Amid celebrity appearances, OS X updates, and Apple's various ways of coming after your wallet, the company slid in a brief mention of its plans for Swift on Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference—and it's a doozy. Among other things, the company is open-sourcing the second version of its programming language. In other words, the company will make Swift's source code freely available, which means others may be able to … [Read more...]

Here’s What’s New In iOS 9

At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, executive Craig Federighi offered up tons of announcements about changes heading to iPhones and iPads with iOS 9—namely, smarter voice features and updates designed to improve the experience of making apps and using them. See also: App Makers Now Have More Access To The Guts Of The Apple WatchThe new version of the company's mobile software enters the developer preview phase Monday, followed by the … [Read more...]

App Makers Now Have More Access To The Guts Of The Apple Watch

On Monday, at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, the closed-off Apple Watch cracked open a little wider for developers, who will now get to build truly native apps that take full advantage of the wrist device's hardware features.See also: Apple Just Threw Some Shade At Pebble And Watch App DevelopersAs the company noted, it has been six weeks since the wearable device’s launch, and with Apple’s Kevin Lynch taking the wraps … [Read more...]

HTC’s Vive VR Headset Is Now In Developers’ Hands

Valve and HTC’s Vive—the most high-profile virtual reality headset that isn’t called Oculus Rift—has started its journey to would-be game makers. The news broke in a blog post by Valve’s Chet Faliszek on Friday, who explained that the first batch of developer kits have shipped to folks all over the content-making map. That includes movie studios and game developers—of both the top-tier and indie variety; remaining developers will receive … [Read more...]

We’re All Speed Freaks, So We Should Love Apple’s New OS X

The next version of Apple's Mac OS X is nearly here, and has been dubbed, in a departure from cat names and national parks, "El Capitan."Presented by Apple executive Craig Federighi at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco Monday, the new OS X features a number of small but noticeable tweaks to things, improvements to Safari, and better support for game developers. Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president for … [Read more...]

Apple Embraces The “W” Word—As In “Wallet”

Goodbye, Passbook. Hello, Wallet.With the growth of Apple Pay and new features like store cards and rewards points, Passbook, the iOS app where Apple's payments features have lived, is getting retired in favor of a new Apple Wallet app.Apple executives announced the retirement of Passbook at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday.What does it mean that Passbook is now Wallet? It means that Apple is going all-in … [Read more...]