The Taiwanese government has requested that Apple (AAPL) camouflage satellite images of its “$1.4 billion early warning radar station that can detect aircraft and missiles coming from as far as western China” located near the Hsinchu Air Bas, the Associated Press reports. Melting bridges and road grievances aside, Apple’s new Maps app in iOS 6 doesn’t use low-resolution satellite images to blur out top-secret prisons or bases, thus putting many secure locations in jeopardy. Taiwanese Defense Ministry spokesman David Lo told the AP that Apple should take a page from Google’s (GOOG) own Google Maps where sensitive facilities are blurred upon request. Apple has moved quickly to comply with Taiwan’s request and its app now shows obscured imagery over the Hsinchu Air Base.
Apple (AAPL) has been taking some major heat as of late for its decision to remove Google Maps from iOS 6. The Cupertino-based company chose to instead incorporate its own in-house mapping service into the platform and has faced harsh criticism as a result. Although Apple is actively improving its own maps app, many people still prefer the old Google (GOOG)-powered solution. Previously, users would have to use Google’s mobile mapping site to access the company’s data, but a new app gives iOS 6 users direct access to the old mapping features and doesn’t even require a device to be jailbroken. ClassicMap offers Google’s mapping data and delivers a nearly identical look and feel as the old iOS 5 app. Unfortunately, even though users will have access to more accurate information, the app doesn’t include built-in turn-by-turn directions like Apple’s app does. Users have also noted that the app is a bit slower than the original and the app had a lot of trouble finding local results to simple searches during our tests. ClassicMap is free, however, and hopefully the developer works out the kinks soon since there’s no telling when Google might finally have its own iOS 6 app ready. More →
When Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said his team was working non-stop to to improve the decidedly subpar iOS 6 Maps app, he wasn’t kidding. Several MacRumors forum members are reporting that Apple’s quickly correcting some of its botched 3D Flyover views including the now-famous invisible Statue of Liberty. MacRumors says that imagery improvements have been reported in Honolulu, Hawaii; San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles; New York City and London. Additional 3D buildings in vector mode are also popping up. The Apple rumors website also states that users who don’t see the immediate changes will see them in the near future as “aggressive caching” is holding the roll out from hitting everyone. BGR has confirmed the improved Statue of Liberty an additional 3D vector buildings is present on at least on iPhone 5 device. Apple is reportedly prepping a program that will train retail staff employees to help report errors in cities where Apple Stores are located. More →
Despite claims of patent infringement, Apple’s (AAPL) Passbook app is slowly gaining momentum. After receiving support from a number of high-profile brands such as Major League Baseball, Ticketmaster and Walgreens (WAG), the iOS 6 application received another boost with the additions of McDonald’s (MCD), Airbnb and Eventbrite, The Next Web reported. The Passbook-enabled McDonald’s app can be used to order and purchase food right from a customer’s iPhone, although it is only available in France at the moment. The additions of Airbnb and Eventbrite are seen as significant development for the platform as well because both companies have dealt extensively with mobile transactions. Eventbrite, for one, has issued more than 50 million tickets and totaled mores than 1 billion in sales, while Airbnb has booked more than 10 million guest and seen a 26% increase in its mobile traffic. More →
Google (GOOG) on Thursday plans to announce the addition of its Street View feature to the Web version of its Maps service for the iPhone and iPad, AllThingsD’s Walter Mossberg reports. Street View displays 360-degree photographic views of select streets and business in various locations throughout the world. Despite the fact that Apple (AAPL) chose to remove the Google Maps application from the iPhone in iOS 6, it is still possible to access the popular service through the smartphone’s Web browser and users can of course create a shortcut of Google Maps on their homescreens. Mossberg also said that he believes Google is working on bringing a native iOS Maps app to the App Store, despite recent rumors.
UPDATE: Google Maps Street View is now live for the iPhone and iPad. More →
By now, everyone and their mother has heard about how Apple (AAPL) really messed up with its Maps app in iOS 6. And most users have either accepted the fact that a fix isn’t coming anytime soon or have downloaded alternatives. But now MacRumors has learned that Apple is creating a program to dedicate certain retail store staff to submit corrections and improvements for inaccurate mapping in their local areas.
Software development company Ameranth has filed a patent complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California against Apple (AAPL) over its Passbook service in iOS 6, AppleInsider reports. The company claims that Passbook violates four of its U.S. patents concerning “information management and synchronous communications system.” Ameranth, which sells software and services to the hospitality, gaming and food services industries, has asserted three of the patents in several other cases against Apple’s business partners, such as Fandango, OpenTable and Ticketmaster. As a result, the company is seeking triple the damages that it has sustained due to Apple’s “willful infringement.” More →
In less than two weeks, more than half of all iPhones are now running Apple’s (AAPL) latest operating system. According to the latest numbers from online advertising network Chitika, the growth rate of iOS 6 among iPhone users has reached 60%, compared to 45% on the iPad and 39% on the iPod touch. The firm notes that iPod touch devices are far more likely to encounter fragmentation due to the large number of first and second-generation devices that are unable to be updated past iOS 4. Unlike iPhones, which users tend to refresh every two years, iPods usually have a longer life cycle. The data come from a sample of millions of mobile ad impressions on the Chitika Ad network collected from September 18th to October 1st. Additional images follow below. More →
Apple’s (AAPL) iOS 6 can’t seem to catch a break lately. Between the Maps app fiasco, limited Passbook usage and redesigned App Store that makes discovering apps even more difficult, iOS 6 seems like an update worth skipping for iPhone 4 and 4S users. According to reports from MacObserver and hundreds of messages on the official Apple discussion boards, iPhone 4 and 4S users who updated to iOS 6 are seeing their batteries drop from 100% fully charged to under 50% in a handful of hours – on standby.
Hot off news of Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook’s public apology for iOS 6′s awful new Maps app, the Cupertino-based company is now going the extra mile to help upset iOS 6 users find mapping alternatives. As discovered by Digital Trends’ Molly McHugh, the App Store home page now has a big icon that says “Find maps for your iPhone.” Users who click on it will find a list of map apps that Apple recommends. Currently at the top of the charts is MotionX GPS Drive, Waze and MapQuest. More →
Tim Cook on Friday issued a statement to iOS device owners apologizing for the quality of its Maps app in iOS 6. In the letter, Cook admitted that Apple (AAPL) “fell short” on its commitment to deliver the best experience possible to its customers. He also recommended that while the company works to fix its mapping experience, users can take advantages of alternative options for iOS including MapQuest and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing app. Cook’s letter follows below. More →
Since its release last week, Apple (AAPL) has seen 100 million iOS device owners update to iOS 6. That figure is certainly impressive, especially when third-party advertising networks back up iOS 6′s swift adoption rate, but according to mobile customer research firm On Device, iPhone satisfaction among users running iOS 6 is lower than it is with users on iOS 5. More →
Former Google (GOOG) CEO and current chairman Eric Schmidt on Tuesday confirmed to Reuters that the Internet giant has made no move to provide Google Maps app for the iPhone 5 or iOS 6. “We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?” Schmidt said to a small group of reporters in Tokyo. “What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.” Apple (AAPL) dropped Google Maps from its latest operating system in favor of its own in-house program, however the Cupertino-based company has seen a tremendous amount of user backlash. Schmidt revealed that Google and Apple were in constant communication “at all kinds of levels,” although he noted that any decision to allow a Google Maps application in the App Store would have to be made by Apple. “We have not done anything yet,” he said.