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Lyft ditches Google Maps for Here, partners with Argo AI

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Enlarge / Lyft will switch its map provider from Google to Here.

Lyft

The ride-hailing company Lyft is changing up its search data and places provider, which until now have been powered by Google. Lyft will now use Here instead. Lyft says the switch will mean a better search database for places and addresses as well as more accurate predicted arrival times—two important things for a ride-hailing company to get right.

“Over the past six months, we have worked in collaboration with Lyft to implement and test our robust destination catalog that helps riders get to more destinations in cities across North America. Our services are now enriching the Lyft network, spearheading innovation in the rideshare industry,” said Here CEO Edzard Overbeek.

There may be other motivations for the switch. According to Lyft’s head of rideshare, Ashwin Raj, the switch will “improve the efficiency of our marketplace,” but the press release also explicitly mentions keeping user data private.

Lyft also has a new driverless tech partner. In the past, the company has dabbled in developing an in-house capability, but in April, Lyft sold off its internal self-driving division to a subsidiary of Toyota.

This is Argo AI's fourth-generation autonomous vehicle, built using the Ford Escape Hybrid.
Enlarge / This is Argo AI’s fourth-generation autonomous vehicle, built using the Ford Escape Hybrid.

Argo AI

Working with external autonomous driving partners seems to be going better, though, as Lyft provides the necessary ride-hailing component to find people to ride in robotaxis being developed by other companies. Lyft worked with Aptiv and Motional in Las Vegas, with plans to launch a robotaxi service using electric Hyundai Ioniq 5s in the city in 2023. And Lyft has helped Waymo begin actual commercial operations in Arizona.

Now, Lyft will partner with Argo AI, the autonomous driving company with big investments from Ford and Volkswagen. Lyft is getting a 2.5 percent stake in Argo and, together with Argo and Ford, will begin adding robotaxis (with safety drivers) to its network in Miami later this year and Austin, Texas, in 2021.

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‘Ted Lasso’ takes over Apple homepage to celebrate second season launch | AppleInsider

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Hit Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso” has taken over Apple’s homepage to celebrate the release of the show’s second season on Friday.

The main page at apple.com now features a bright blue background. When you first navigate to it, the season two tagline — “kindness makes a comeback — flashes onscreen before Jason Sudeikis’s Ted Lasso character appears.

Once the animations stops, Apple leads users to the second season on Apple TV+ with a “stream now” button.

“Ted Lasso” season two officially premiered in Los Angeles on Friday, July 16. The second season officially launched with its first episode on Apple TV+ on Friday, July 23. New episodes will debut weekly each Friday.

The series has been one of Apple’s most successful pieces of original content. It has been nominated for a total of 20 Emmy awards in 2021, and Apple has already renewed the show for a third season.

Apple occasionally uses its homepage to promote services or celebrate other occasions. In 2020, for example, Apple Arcade took over the main website. The “Ted Lasso” promotion is unique because it takes up the entire page and doesn’t feature any of the company’s hardware products.

The company has also promoted “Ted Lasso” season two with special Memoji stickers at Apple retail locations and Today at Apple sessions focused on artwork inspired by the show.

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Wanna squad up in Pokémon Unite? Here’s how

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Pokémon Unite is a new 5-v-5 free-to-play MOBA on the Nintendo Switch. In this multiplayer Pokémon game, players choose from one of 20 Pokémon and battle it against one another. And what better way to celebrate a hard-fought victory than with your friends? Playing Pokémon Unite with friends is the best way to play, but playing with friends on the Nintendo Switch isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is possible. Here’s how to invite your friends to a play in Pokemon Unite.

How to invite friends to Pokémon Unite on the Nintendo Switch

Inviting friends to Pokémon Unite on the Nintendo Switch is pretty simple.

  1. First, go ahead and exchange friend codes with the person you want to invite.
  2. Open Pokémon Unite.
  3. At the main menu, select Unite Battle and start a lobby.

    Source: iMore

  4. Select one of the plus signs around your character or press the Y button to open up your friends list.

    How to invite friends to Pokémon Unite on the Nintendo Switch: Select one of the plus signs around your character, or press the Y button to open up your friends list.

    Source: iMore

  5. Choose the person you want to invite, and select Player Info.

    How to invite friends to Pokémon Unite on the Nintendo Switch: Choose the person you want to invite, and select Player Info.

    Source: iMore

  6. Then select Invite Friends.

    How to invite friends to Pokémon Unite on the Nintendo Switch: Then select Invite Friends.

    Source: iMore

All your friend has to do at this point is accept the invitation.

How to invite players using a Lobby ID

If you want to play with someone you’re not friends with, you can still invite them to your game without adding their friend code.

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  1. Start Pokémon Unite.
  2. At the main menu, select Unite Battle and start a lobby.
  3. At the top left of the screen, you’ll see a Lobby ID. Share that ID with whoever you’d like.

    How to invite players using a Lobby ID: At the top left of the screen, you'll see a **Lobby ID**. Share that ID with whoever you'd like.

    Source: iMore

That’s all it takes. The player joining just has to input the Lobby ID into the Lobby Search option of the main menu.

How to invite cross-platform players

Pokemon Unite is available on the Switch but will come to iOS and Android in September. You won’t need their friend code to invite them, but you’ll need to share your Trainer ID.

  1. Start Pokémon Unite.
  2. At the main menu, press L to open your Trainer Info.

    How to invite cross platform players:At the main menu, press L to open your Trainer Info.

    Source: iMore

  3. Share the code at the bottom of the screen to add your cross-platform friend.

We’ll have to put this to the test once the iOS and Android versions release this September.

Unite for the fight

Pokémon Unite is a great multiplayer game, made even better when you’re playing with friends. It also has a surprising amount of depth, so be sure to check out our Pokémon tier list to figure out who is the best Pokémon for your play style. And while you’re at it, check out all of the free gifts available for Pokémon Unite now. Coordinate with friends and claim victory!


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The next MacBook Air: Mid-2022 eyed for mini-LED M2 redesign

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Roman has covered technology since the early 1990s. His career started at MacUser, and he’s worked for MacAddict, Mac|Life, and TechTV.


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