Apple has for a long time hired engineers around the globe to contribute to making its Maps experience better. While positions for its team outside Cupertino usually consist of Maps Quality Analysts and Ground Truth managers that submit region specific corrections for Maps, a new job listing on Apple’s website hints at a “data-collection project” planned for New York.
The Things to-do management app for Mac OS X, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch has been updated today with speed improvements for both the actual application and for downloading and syncing with the Things Cloud service.
We’ve identified the resource hogs and improved performance in key areas that were troublesome in the past. Below are some measurements we took before and after these improvements. Overall, the app now feels much more responsive, especially when you perform an action on multiple items at once.
Additionally, the application’s time zone support has been improved.
For this release we’ve been through and carefully adjusted all the date-related functionality in Things. It’s been a considerable amount of work, but these improvements – which affect scheduled dates, due dates, repeating tasks, local notifications, and the Daily Review – are a good and necessary foundation going forward.
I’ve been testing out the app updates for a couple of months now, and the improvements seem to live up to Cultured Code’s (the developer) claims.
Things is meant for users with many to-dos that need to sort their work into projects. With that in mind, the suite is a bit pricier than applications in the same category: Things for Mac (49.99), Things for iPad ($19.99), Things for iPhone/iPod touch($9.99). The three apps sync with a free Things Cloud system.
Release notes below:
Apple and Google are clearly the two front-runners competing for market share in the mobile world, which is why it’s no surprise we think of iOS and Android when we think of apps. With the growth of the smartphone industry also came the resurgence of native apps (thanks largely in part to Apple’s App Store which still dominates the space). However, Mozilla hopes that web apps will soon mature to provide a comparable experience for end users and an even better alternative for developers.
“We are aiming at providing all the necessary APIs to build a basic HTML5 phone experience within the next 3-6 months”
While Chrome OS has shown promise, it isn’t the only browser-based platform planning on entering the web app space… If Mozilla has its way, developers can use the results of their new WebAPI project to build an “HTML5 phone experience” that’s compatible across all operating systems (whether it’s Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc).
A report from CNET claims Mozilla has plans for the APIs to “interact with a phone’s dialler, address book, contacts list, and camera”, essentially giving you access to the same functionality of native apps but directly in your device’s browser.
The WebAPI project certainly isn’t trying to create a full-blown operating system. However, working hand in hand with Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko project, which aims to build a “complete, standalone operating system for the web”, it could create a potentially compelling alternative to Google’s browser-based Chrome OS.
It appears that Mozilla is serious about the project, as a report from CNET claims they’re in the process of hiring full time programmers and plan to have the basics in place by February…