When Apple first ousted Google Maps from its mobile devices and released its own mapping solution for iOS, it was something of a disaster. A beautiful disaster, at times, but a disaster nonetheless. So much so that Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for the company’s terrible Maps app and Apple recommended several third-party alternatives. In the time since Apple’s mobile Maps app debuted, however, the company has devoted tremendous resources to improving it — and now a new report claims that Apple is pushing improvements to its Maps app every single day. More →
Late last week, we covered a new feature that had been discovered in Apple Maps on iOS 8 — flyover city tours. It was previously thought that the feature could only be accessed through a series of debug menus, but 9to5Mac reader Stefan Kujit found that the flyover tours are actually accessible to anyone with iOS 8… just as long as you’re prepared to do a little bit of digging. More →
If you were hoping that Apple would announce big improvements to its Maps application on iOS 8 last week, you came away sorely disappointed since Apple barely bothered to mention the oft ridiculed mapping application at all. Now TechCrunch’s sources inform us that there was a reason for that: Apple Maps is apparently still too much of a mess to even warrant a mention at Apple’s big developers conference. More →
Other than possibly finding the Loch Ness monster, there aren’t many good reasons to use Apple Maps instead of Google Maps. However, a recent acquisition reported by TechCrunch might actually change that. According to TechCrunch’s sources, Apple has purchased Spotsetter, a social search application that could help Apple add some interesting new features to its oft-ridiculed Maps application on the iPhone. More →
Apple was awarded a patent on Tuesday for a technology that should allow for much more accurate indoor location detection and mapping, even in the absence of GPS. The new patent, which was picked up by Apple Insider, uses a combination of Wi-Fi access points, location databases and other data to determine proximity to what the patent called “presence areas.” It then analyzes various data such as Wi-Fi signal strength and building architecture to determine a more precise location. More →
Apple Maps has become famous for leading tourists into death traps in the Australian outback and for sending confused drivers directly onto airport runways. However, none of Apple Maps‘ assorted victims have suffered as much as Pennsylvania resident Judy Saltsburg, who has been dealing with skiers who keep mistakenly driving onto her property because Apple Maps tells them it’s the best way to get them to the local ski area. More →
Apple has had countless issues with its Maps app over the past few years, but a patent published on Thursday could be a step in the right direction to providing a quality experience for those that have deserted Google once and for all. The USPTO filing describes an overhaul which would give users access to “[d]ifferent modes [which] can be chosen to emphasize features relevant to a particular interest,” such as traffic, tourism or the weather. You could switch on whichever modes are pertinent to your situation for a custom map of your own. The map would also be far more interactive than Apple’s current offering: More →
Immediately after Apple officially announced that it had bought up Kinect inventor PrimeSense for $360 million, many analysts began speculating that Apple would use PrimeSense’s technology as the basis for key applications on its long-rumored “iTV.” But Jessica Lessin’s sources say that Apple had been eyeing PrimeSense not for anything TV-related but for its ability to help the company improve its oft-maligned iOS Maps application. More →
A new report claims that Apple has acquired a local data startup as part of its latest effort to improve its Maps application on the iPhone and iPad. According to AllThingsD, Apple has come to an agreement with Locationary to both buy the company’s technology and hire its team. The Toronto-based startup is described as a “Wikipedia for local business listings.” The company uses crowdsourcing information, along with a federated data exchange platform to “collect, merge and continuously verify a massive database of information on local businesses around the world.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. An Apple spokesperson told AllThingsD that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
A recently published patent suggests that Apple is interested in improving its Maps application for iOS with the help of its loyal iPhone users. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application for a method of generating travel directions based on crowd-sourced traffic data that will provide users with information in real-time about road conditions. The technology is similar to features offered by Waze, which Apple unsuccessfully attempted to acquire earlier this year according to a report. The system would allow travelers to flag potential road hazards such as heavy traffic, accidents and power outages, which will be used to warn and reroute other drivers. Users would also be given more driving route choices, including the option to take scenic routes in order to avoid traffic or construction zones.
An Apple (AAPL) patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday suggests that the company may be looking to create a navigation system based on panoramic imagery, similar to Google’s (GOOG) “Street View” technology. The “3D Position Tracking for Panoramic Imagery Navigation” patent describes a graphical user interface that utilizes the onboard sensors in the iPhone or iPad to navigate panoramic location data. Unlike the Street View technology found in Google Maps, Apple’s system will use data from the accelerometer, cameras, gyroscope and other sensors to automatically move a user through a street-level image. More →
Apple (AAPL) is looking for all the help it can get to fix its iOS Maps service. AppleInsider points us to some new job postings on Apple’s website that are seeking 10 software engineers to work on its Maps team. As the report notes, nine of the engineers “will handle various programming duties, while one will be assigned to tackle navigation.” In its job posting, Apple says that its iOS Maps app is the “best mapping program on any mobile platform,” despite the fact that CEO Tim Cook formally apologized for the app after widespread complaints about its poor quality.