Everything new in iOS 10.3: Hidden keyboard, AirPods finder and more

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There's a lot to love in iOS 10.3.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple gave developers their first look at the next big update for iOS 10 yesterday, and it packs a surprising number of new features.

The public will have to wait a few weeks (or months) to get their hands on the new goodies packed inside iOS 10.3, which brings improvements for AirPods, iPads and more.

Here are all the new additions coming soon to iOS devices near you.

Apple will use drones to make Maps better

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Apple Maps reservation OpenTable
Drones could be key to improving Apple Maps.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple plans to use a combination of drones, indoor mapping and other smart tech to improve its Apple Maps service, claims a new report.

Employing drones could help Apple catch up with industry leader Google. The search giant has routinely outpaced Apple on mapping technology ever since Cupertino entered the space with its (initially disastrous) Apple Maps in 2012.

How to disable location suggestions in macOS Sierra

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Location Based Suggestions
Here's what to do if you don't want localized suggestions.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Much like Google offers personalized searching, macOS Sierra delivers location-based tips as part of its suggestions within Spotlight, Siri, Safari and Maps. That means Apple will try to recommend relevant services within your immediate vicinity.

If you don’t want this feature, however, there is a way to get rid of it. Check out our guide below to show how to do this — and how to turn it back on again if you change your mind.

How to book a reservation through Apple Maps on iOS 10

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Apple Maps reservation OpenTable
Apple Maps makes it easy to get your grub on.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Finding an awesome spot to eat has always been easy on the iPhone. But iOS 10 makes it super-simple to book a restaurant reservation in Apple Maps.

With the new third-party app extensions in Maps, users can now reserve a table without ever leaving the Maps app. Just find the spot you want to dine at, and with a few extra taps you’ll be on your way to a fine dining experience.

Book a reservation in seconds with these steps.

Apple Maps could help you find your way around unfamiliar buildings

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It might not quite be Harry Potter's Marauder's Map, but it's getting there.
Photo: Universal Studios Orlando

Could a Harry Potter-style “Marauder’s Map” help give Apple a leg up on rival mapping services by offering indoor directions as well as outside ones?

That’s the working theory behind a new U.S. patent published today, which describes a “Visual-Based Inertial Navigation” system, explaining how accurate indoor directions could given on a smartphone or VR headset down to an accuracy of centimeters.

Is Apple Maps still the laughing stock of maps apps? [Friday Night Fights]

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Is Apple Maps your first choice?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The release of Apple Maps with iOS 6 was so disastrous it led to the firing of Scott Forstall, former SVP of iOS, and to a rare public apology from CEO Tim Cook.

Friday Night Fights bug Almost four years on, Maps is in a very different place. Apple has worked hard to iron out the kinks and add new features that help the service compete with rivals like Google Maps. But is Apple Maps still the laughing stock of maps apps?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fights as we battle it out over the state of Apple Maps.

Apple exec reveals how your iPhone data is used to improve Maps

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Hair Force One wants everyone to become a coder.
Craig Federighi oversees the development of both iOS and macOS.
Photo: Apple

In a new wide ranging interview, Apple’s senior VP of internet software and services, Eddy Cue, revealed how the company fixed a lot of mistakes it made with the launch of Apple Maps in 2012 by utilizing data from the hundreds of millions of iPhones around the globe.

Cue and Apple software chief Craig Federighi sat down to talk about the troubles with Apple Maps, the difference between working for Tim Cook and Steve Jobs, Apple’s competition with Facebook and Amazon and learning from failure.

Thank Apple Maps disaster for public betas of iOS and macOS

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TomTom will continue to power Apple Maps.
Apple Maps was a turning point for Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s decision to open up macOS and iOS for public betas was inspired by the company’s horrible experience with the iOS Maps debacle in 2012, according to a new interview with Tim Cook, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi.

One of the most notorious botches in Apple history, Maps’ problems ranged from depicting horribly warped landscapes to directing folks visiting the airport in Fairbanks, Alaska, to drive across one of the taxiways. And it changed Apple’s culture in the process.

All the changes Apple made in iOS 10 beta 2

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There's a lot to love in the new iOS 10 beta.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s second beta for iOS 10 is jam-packed with new features and changes to go along with the big batch of bug fixes.

More than 50 changes have been discovered by developers, affecting everything from Apple Music to widgets. A lot of the changes are very minor UI tweaks that would probably go unnoticed by many users, but Apple has also added some huge additions to the Home button, Messages, Notification Center and more.

Here’s what’s new in iOS 10 beta 2:

Mystery vans likely making 3-D road maps for Apple’s self-driving car

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Mysterious unmarked vans roaming the Bay Area have been linked to Apple, and are likely generating detailed 3D maps for robot cars.
Mysterious unmarked vans roaming the Bay Area have been linked to Apple, and are likely generating detailed 3D maps for robot cars.
Photo: Business Insider/Stephen Smith

Some new data-gathering vehicles are roaming the streets of San Francisco. They’re unmarked, but are suspected to be Apple’s. They are laden with sensors, but what kind of data are they gathering, and what for?

Experts contacted by Cult of Mac say the mystery vans are next-generation mapping vehicles capable of capturing VR-style, 360-degree street photos. Plus, the vans use Lidar to create extraordinarily precise “point clouds,” a prerequisite for self-driving cars. Mesh those two databases together and you’ve laid the groundwork for an autonomous vehicle’s navigation system.