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Apple Daily: Update on Next iPhones; IBM Using Macs; Metaio Acquisition

In today’s news, our favorite Cupertino company acquires a notable augmented reality company, IBM has started allowing employees to choose Macs for their workstations, and word from the supply line in China claims that both rumored upcoming iPhones will get a key new feature.

Apple Buys Augmented Reality Company Metaio

Apple’s out buying smaller technology companies again, and this time it’s Metaio, a sizable augmented reality company (via TechCrunch). The company has been around since 2003, and its technology has been used to create everything from augmented reality showrooms for Ferrari to an app that lets visitors to Berlin see what the site they’re at would have looked like while the Berlin Wall was still standing (below).

It’s not known what interest Apple has in augmented reality, although the company has secured several patents for virtual reality headsets and “hyper-reality displays” in the past. There’s also a chance it has something to do with the Maps service, which Apple has been working diligently to improve lately. Metaio’s Creator software is described as being so user-friendly that users can create augmented reality scenarios within minutes, which certainly sounds like it would be appealing to a company that places a heavy emphasis on such values.

While Apple’s reasons may not be known, we do know that Apple has actually acquired the company, based on filings with the German government and Apple’s usual canned statement when it acquires other companies: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

 

IBM Now Offering Macs to Employees Following Enterprise Partnership

Up until now news of Apple’s enterprise partnership with IBM has largely focused on apps for small businesses on iPads and the like, but according to a memo that was relayed in pieces by several IBM employees on Twitter today, that partnership now affects the day-to-day desk lives of IBM’s employees. Starting today, IBM employees can now choose between a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or a PC when they put in a request for a new or updated workstations.

Regardless of which system employees choose, the memo reportedly says, they’ll have access to the same VPN, security, and similar tools as the traditional PC setups. IBM apparently already has a bring-your-own-device program that has resulted in 15,000 Macs being used internally, but under the new policy, IBM expects to see around 50,000 MacBooks in the hands of its employees by the end of 2015. And with that step, so the memo goes, IBM will become the world’s largest Mac-supporting company (besides Apple itself, of course). The whole thing’s kind of poetic, especially considering that the two companies used to be rivals.

 

Supply Chain Sources Claim Both New iPhones Will Support ‘Force Touch’

When rumors first started circulating that the rumored upcoming iPhones would likely feature Apple’s new “Force Touch” technology, the general consensus was that the feature would only be available on the larger “iPhone 6s.” But that’s no longer true, according to a new report from the supply chain view Taiwan’s Economic Daily News (via GforGames), although it reportedly once was (in accordance with previous rumors). Now, supposedly, both of the two new rumored phones are on track to receive Force Touch support.

Apple announced Force Touch alongside the reveal of the 12-inch Retina MacBook, where it was described as a method of adding pressure to the traditional swipes and taps associated with touch interaction with electronic devices. Taiwan’s TPK will reportedly be supplying all of the Force Touch sensors for both devices.

The news comes just two days after insider sources at Apple claimed that iOS 9 as a whole will be “Force Touch-ready” and that Apple was already working with developers in order to integrate the technology with existing apps.

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

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