Apple shelves tech that would have let you text off the grid

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple has reportedly put a technology for iPhones on hold that would have let people send text messages to other iPhones over a 900MHz radio spectrum that’s typically used for dispatchers in the utility and manufacturing industries, allowing the phones to act like walkie-talkies for texts, according to The Information. It appears this would have been different than Apple’s Walkie-Talkie feature for the Apple Watch, which is essentially a push-to-talk (PTT) FaceTime Audio call.

The Information says Apple and Intel were working together on the technology, which would have been integrated into Intel chips in future iPhones, before it was put on hold. At Apple, the project reportedly went by Project OGRS (pronounced “ogres”), which is likely…

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Huawei may challenge Google Maps’ dominance with its own mapping tech

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Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

Huawei is developing a “mapping service,” according to a report by state-run news outlet China Daily, but don’t expect it to be your next Google Maps alternative. The service is apparently intended for software developers, meaning apps that offer navigation or ride-hailing services could use Huawei’s planned mapping technology instead of building their own.

A Huawei exec told China Daily that the mapping service, called Map Kit, will offer developers a street navigation system they can use in their apps as well as a way to show users real-time traffic conditions. The exec also said that Map Kit will support “augmented-reality mapping.” It’s unclear what that means. Perhaps it’s something similar to Google’s recently launched AR walking…

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Apple’s tap-to-use student IDs let pupils buy food and badge into their dorms

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Today’s college students rely on their ID cards for almost everything, including using them to get into the gym or to buy the cafeteria’s beloved turkey-avocado sandwich. That means losing their ID can make navigating campus difficult, and cards can be a pain to replace. Now, Apple has a way for students to integrate their ID cards into their iPhones and Apple Watches so they can buy a sandwich without the need for their physical card. Apple is expanding the program to 12 universities so more students can use the technology.

Here’s what the virtual card looks like in practice:

Image: Apple

The expansion comes as Apple builds more uses for Apple Pay and Wallet, including last week’s launch of the Apple Card and a test…

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