Included in Apple’s “Q&A on Location Data” press release this morning was a rare and concrete statement that pointed to a future project the company is working on. “Apple is now collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database with the goal of providing iPhone users an improved traffic service in the next couple of years,” reads the release. Currently, iOS offers its users traffic-data through the bundled Google Maps application. It is unclear whether Apple is collecting this information to supplement the aforementioned offering, or — as rumors suggest — to build a new application that is less reliant on Google. Either way, it is an unusual statement from the Cupertino-based company about a future service. More →
Oh Google Maps, is there anything you can’t do? Via a blog post just moments ago, Google announced an incremental update to its Maps application for Android. The update, which is still technically in beta, brings real-time traffic routing right to your smartphone. “You don’t have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps,” reads the announcement. “Before today, Navigation would choose whichever route was fastest, without taking current traffic conditions into account.” The software will work in both North America and Europe, and is waiting for you in the Android Market. Enjoy. More →
Hello, Rhapsody. Real Networks’ online music store has finally launched a DRM-free download option on an apathetic unsuspecting public. Boasting a catalog of over 5 million songs, the new service allows customers to access their library for a mere $.99/song or $9.99/album. The pricing is relatively competitive, but considering how late they are to to DRM-free party, they might want to consider a fee-structure that is a bit more in line with Amazon/com’s $.89/song, $8.99 bargain basement average. Nevertheless, in an attempt to drum up excitement, Rhapsody is currently offering an entire album free of charge to the first 100,000 customers that sign up for the service. We wouldn’t recommend sticking around much after the free download hits your hard drive, but free music ain’t so bad, right? As an added incentive, the company is also making their online store available to Verizon subscribers by way of a special portal. It’s a decent solution, but we’d still wager that there are better and cheaper ways of getting music onto your handset.