Even with GPS on the Watch, I Won’t Be Leaving My iPhone Behind 

Rumor has it that the next Apple Watch will include a GPS chipset. Assumedly, this would allow apps like Map My Run, Strava and others to track walks, runs and bike rides without relying on the iPhone for location data. With Apple Watch 2, people could just go for a run and have complete stats about it afterwards, all with their iPhone safe and sound back home on the kitchen table.

I do a fair amount of bike riding, on and off of paved streets. I use my Apple Watch to keep tabs on things like speed or distance mid-ride without needing to dig my iPhone out of the back pocket of my jersey.

Having the Watch on bike rides is great, but I always keep my iPhone with me in case of emergency. If I or someone I’m with are in an accident, someone needs to be able to call 911. If I get lost, I need Maps. If I’m out later than I expected, my wife wants to see where I am via Find my Friends.

GPS on the Apple Watch doesn’t solve any of these use cases, but cellular data would. According to Mark Gurman, that’s not in the cards quite yet:

Apple Inc. has hit roadblocks in making major changes that would connect its Watch to cellular networks and make it less dependent on the iPhone, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company still plans to announce new watch models this fall boasting improvements to health tracking.

Assuming it doesn’t cost me another $30/month for service, I’d be very interested in having my Watch be able to talk to a cellular network when I go out for a ride. Until then, my iPhone will be tucked in my back pocket.

Kbase Article of the Week: Rhapsody Developer Release Filesystem »

Rhapsody was Apple’s initial attempt to combine Mac OS and NeXTSTEP to form the company’s next-gen operating system:

The Rhapsody Developer Release (RDR) has a fundamental incompatability with OPENSTEP/Mach (and NeXTStep) that you should be aware of when planning how to install and evaluate this software. Specifically, RDR/Intel uses a different file system format than either RDR/PPC or OPENSTEP/NeXTStep. You will not be able to set up systems to dual-boot RDR/Intel and previous Mach/Intel operating systems. You will also not be able to exchange external hard disks and/or removable media between RDR/Intel and other versions of Mach. Rhapsody/PPC will be able to read (mount read-only) media created on previous versions of Mach. Read/write access to older media is not supported.

Rhapsody would surface as a few developer builds and as the backbone of Mac OS X Server 1.0, but it would be replaced by an updated strategy that birthed OS X as we know it today.

Also, there’s a typo in the article’s title.

Amazon Echo Will be Able to Control Sonos Speakers »

Chris Welch at The Verge:

Several months ago, Sonos revealed plans to bring voice control to its popular home audio speakers. Today at an event in New York City, the company shared more on its approach to letting users play music by speaking commands aloud instead of controlling everything by thumbing through the Sonos app. In short, it’s all about Alexa and Echo. Beginning in 2017, anyone with an Alexa-enabled device — right now that’s he Echo, Tap, or Dot — will be able to control Sonos speakers with voice commands.

When Sonos made that announcement, the company praised the Amazon Echo heavily. At the time, I thought that Sonos may try to compete with the Echo, Siri and Google Now directly by developing their own system. While that may still happen, Sonos is hooking their wagon to Amazon for now. I’m curious to see how this plays out, or if Amazon ends up buying the company outright at some point.

More on the Rumored ‘Dynamic Function Row’ »

Mark Gurman, writing about how the buttons on the next-generation MacBook Pro’s OLED keyboard display may vary based on usage:

For example, if a user is on their desktop, the screen will show a virtual representation of the standard function row, which includes brightness and media controls. When in an application, the virtual row will show options specific to the task at hand, but volume controls and a switch to show the default functions will always be present. The Safari web browser would enable controls for finding and defining terms, while the iMovie video editor would offer controls for cutting clips and a more-precise volume slider, the people said.

This fits with earlier reports, but I still have questions. If these buttons are changing every time I jump between apps, how distracting will that prove? Do I have to be in Finder to adjust my screen’s brightness? What happens if I’m in an app that doesn’t support the display?

I guess we’ll find out in October.

NASA’s Juno Completes First Jupiter Flyby »

Tony Greicius at JPL:

While results from the spacecraft’s suite of instruments will be released down the road, a handful of images from Juno’s visible light imager — JunoCam — are expected to be released the next couple of weeks. Those images will include the highest-resolution views of the Jovian atmosphere and the first glimpse of Jupiter’s north and south poles.

It’s an exciting time to be a space enthusiast.

RSS Sponsor: Qbserve – Automatic Time Tracker for Mac »

Qbserve helps improve your productivity by giving you a picture of your time spending patterns. It provides instant feedback on your performance by watching the sites and apps you use.

Qbserve stores all the tracked data privately on your machine and doesn’t require subscription. It is currently focused on self-management but business features like project tracking and billing are also coming soon.

Try it for free and see where your time goes. Use coupon 512PIXELS on checkout for 25% off in September.

Remembering MECC »

This month in my column on iMore, I revisited MECC, the company behind some great software titles like Oregon Trail and Number Munchers:

My earliest memories of technology came from my first year of grade school: It was 1992, and our teacher had installed some variant of an Apple II in the classroom. The students were only able to use it a few times, but each time I got to put a disk in the machine, I was able to escape to another world.

A world in which I was traveling west in a wagon, attempting to avoid dying of dysentery.