Two London startups are set to play a crucial role in both the Apple Watch and iOS 8, the company’s newest version of its operating system for iPhone and iPad, with Apple showcasing one British app in its crucial Apple Watch announcement.
Citymapper was launched in 2011 as an app designed to help Londoners navigate the city’s bus network. The app previously known as Busmapper has since expanded to New York and Berlin, as well as a host of other cities.
When Apple unveiled the Apple Watch, it also revealed a selection of apps from major developers: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest… and Citymapper. The small London startup was showcased by CEO Tim Cook in his presentation as one of the apps that will be launching with the Apple Watch, a major achievement for the small London company. (It was almost a perfect moment for Citymapper, tarnished only by the fact that Apple accidentally included a space in its name. The company’s brand is composed of just one word, not two.)
So how did Citymapper make it big? The app walks users through their commute using precise, step-by-step directions. Once users have entered their home address, they can simply tap “Get me home” to receive instant directions.
According to Citymapper founder Azmat Yusuf (a former Google employee), the app is “probably” installed on half of the iPhones in London. Now that Citymapper has integrated with the Apple Watch, it could soon be found on watches across the city too.
The British keyboard app that dominates Android will soon be coming to iOS 8. After Apple announced at its WWDC event earlier this year that third-party keyboards would be allowed on its new mobile operation system, SwiftKey was one of the big names touted as a competitor to Apple’s in-built keyboard.
Swiftkey works by allowing users to swipe across the keyboard, and automatically suggests words using both their touchscreen input, and by analysing their social media posts and emails for commonly used phrases. The app was founded by Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock in 2008 when Reynolds was working for the British government.
To help launch SwiftKey on iOS, SwiftKey enlisted the help of the well-known British comedian (and Apple fan) Stephen Fry.