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Apple Daily: Jony Ive’s New Title; More iOS 9 Rumors; Cortana Coming to iOS

In today’s Apple Daily, Apple design chief Jony Ive gets a spiffy new title and some new responsibilities. In other news, more rumors about what we’ll see in iOS 9 are surfacing, and Microsoft’s “Cortana” service is said to be coming to iOS sometime later this year.

Jony Ive Named ‘Chief Design Officer’ at Apple

For years Jony Ive stuck to the shadows at Apple, to the point that most people outside the company only knew what he looked like from the same handful of publicity stills. Over the last couple of years, however, he’s taken on a more visible role at the company, and he’ll have a title that better suits that role than “Senior Vice President of Design” come July 1. As Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in an internal memo yesterday (via 9to5Mac), Ive is now Apple’s “Chief Design Officer,” and Richard Howarth and Alan Dye will take over the everyday management of Apple’s industrial design and user interface teams.

Source: Gabriela Hasbun/The Telegraph

That may seem like it’s taking a lot of day-to-day responsibilities from Ive, but Ive retains his oversight. In addition, the position brings new responsibilities with it. Ive, for instance, will be taking a much larger role in the design of Apple’s retail stores and its upcoming “spaceship” campus, and he’ll be able to travel beyond Cupertino to more of Apple’s other development sites across the globe.

For their part, Howarth and Dye are anything but slouches. Howarth, the new vice president of industrial design, has worked with Ive for almost two decades and has served on the iPhone’s development team since the first generation. Dye’s original focus was marketing and communications, but he became a key figure on the user interface design team in the wake of the departure of Scott Forstall. Dye was also a key figure in the design of the interface for the Apple Watch, and as such he was the subject of a profile by Wired earlier this year.

Alongside Tim Cook’s announcement, The Telegraph published an interview of Ive, Howarth, and Dye by Stephen Fry.


More Small Improvements Rumored for iOS 9

Apple will most likely announce iOS 9 during its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next month, and anonymous insider sources are already starting to spread word about what we’ll see. In accordance with the general perception that iOS 9 will be more focused on tidying up the operating system rather than introducing sweeping changes, the latest rumors emphasize small improvements.

In accordance with rumors we’ve heard in the past, Apple wants iOS 9 to be “Force Touch-ready,” and that it’s already working with developers to integrate the tech with existing apps. Force Touch was introduced with the 12-inch MacBook back in March, and it adds an extra dimension to traditional touch-based interfacing by adding a pressure component alongside the familiar taps and swipes.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a new keyboard design for iOS 9 that will be “slightly longer” than the current version and bring more editing options when using the standard portrait mode. The new design is also expected to bring a better “Shift” key, in addition to providing an easier way to access the QuickType keyboard.

The report also claims that Apple Pay is essentially ready for launch in Canada judging from the “necessary foundations” for compatible banks and associated institutions in Passbook, but ongoing negotiations will likely prevent a WWDC announcement this year. In addition, Apple may remove the rarely used Game Center app altogether, and it may introduce iMessage read receipts for both group chats and users on a per-contact basis. As the report says, this means users “will be able to turn on the read receipt functionality for specific recipients while leaving the read status of a message in the dark for other contacts.”


Microsoft’s ‘Cortana’ Voice Service Coming to iOS Later This Year

Confirming rumors that dropped back in March, Microsoft announced today that it’s bringing its Siri-like Cortana voice service to iOS and Android, in addition to its own Windows Phone platform. In order to ensure that that it works properly on each system, each operating system will have its own dedicated “companion app”, but Microsoft insists that you’ll be able to ask the digital assistant the same questions regardless of which platform you’re using. The Android version is scheduled for release on Android in late June, but we iOS users will have to wait until sometime later this year. It’s probably for the best, as Siri might get jealous.

Unfortunately, Cortana apparently won’t be quite as powerful as it is on its native Windows platform owing to problems with integration with the operating system. Cortana will be able to answer questions, track flights, and send alerts, for instance, but it won’t be able to launch apps or alter system settings. Perhaps most sadly of all, it won’t be able to answer to the always-cordless, always hands-free “Hey, Cortana” command available on Windows 10 and some of the niftier Windows phones.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


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