Apple’s Maps team calling businesses to verify user address corrections

By Cody Lee on Jul 12, 2014

Continuing on with its efforts to refine its mapping software, Apple has apparently begun calling businesses looking to verify user-reported address corrections. In a recent Reddit post, a business owner said he had been contacted by someone with Apple Maps.

Reddit user swb1192 said he received an interesting phone call from a 408 number (a Cupertino, California area code) this week. The person said that they were with Apple’s Maps team, and that a user had reported his business address as incorrect, which it was… Read More

 

Apple loses senior Maps engineer Chris Blumenberg for Uber

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2014

Apple’s senior engineering manager with the Maps team is leaving the company for Uber, the popular ride-sharing service founded in 2009.

Chris Blumenberg, who long worked on Maps for iOS and OS X and managed Apple’s Maps Apps and Frameworks teams, will be taking a position at Uber, according to a report by The Information.

The departure comes as Apple appears to be ramping up hiring to overhaul the Maps backend.

More importantly, this development reaches us amid talk of internal politics, personal issues and managerial incompetencies allegedly causing significant Maps delays, as evidenced by the lack of major iOS 8 Maps announcements at WWDC… Read More

 

Apple drops Google Maps for own maps in a new beta of the Find My iPhone web app

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2014

It would seem that Google gave way to Apple Maps on the web in a new Find My iPhone beta, which was released yesterday alongside iOS 8 Beta 3 and the third OS X Yosemite Developer Preview.

At the time of this writing, the change appeared to affect Apple’s Find My iPhone beta on the web, which has switched from Google Maps tiles to an Apple Maps backend. For those wondering, the native iOS app stopped using Google Maps in 2012… Read More

 

Apple hiring software engineers to help ‘overhaul’ Maps backend

By Cody Lee on Jul 2, 2014

According to a pair of new job listings, Apple is looking for folks to help with a major rewrite of its Maps app programming interface. The listings, which were posted yesterday, call for software engineers to aid the company in a major overhaul of its Maps API.

The job descriptions call for cross-functional leaders to join the Apple Maps API team, which is responsible for the “doorway” to all systems powering the Maps service. The company says it has “big plans” for the API, and is overhauling things front-to-back… Read More

 

Video: hidden iOS 8 Maps feature – Flyover City Tours

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 19, 2014

There’s a nicely done new Apple Maps feature hidden in iOS 8 Beta 2. Called City Tours, it’s basically a set of manually programmed and scripted virtual tours of select major cities, rendered and animated in Maps’ three-dimensional Flyover mode.

Apple hasn’t talked about City Tours during its WWDC keynote (aside from a brief mention on one slide) and the feature couldn’t be found on the official iOS 8 webpage, in WWDC session videos or inside Apple’s official developer documentation… Read More

 

Personnel issues and internal politics blamed for lack of iOS 8 Maps announcements at WWDC

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 9, 2014

Mark Gurman has established himself as the most reliable Apple blogger out there so we were confused seeing his sources fail him so badly in predicting announcements Apple should’ve made at WWDC.

For instance, he called for new hardware at WWDC, but Apple’s developers conference focused – rather predictably, I should add – on software.

Gurman also said Apple would give OS X a larger presence at the five-day event whereas the company didn’t discriminate between iOS 8 and Yosemite.

Most importantly, he made several claims concerning Apple taking iOS 8 Maps to the next level by adding public transit directions, a car finding feature, more points of interests, better labels and so forth. In reality, the Cupertino firm only briefly mentioned that it’s updated iOS 8 Maps in China with vector graphics. So, what’s going on here? Read More

 

CEO of indoor positioning startup Wifarer has joined Apple ahead of iOS 8 Maps push

By Christian Zibreg on May 1, 2014

According to an exclusive TechCrunch report Thursday, Philip Stanger, the CEO and co-founder of indoor positioning startup Wifarer, has joined Apple’s Maps team ahead of the anticipated push to improve the company’s in-house mapping software in time for the assumed launch of iOS 8 this Fall.

He’s now with the Apple Maps team in a “leadership role,” the publication has learned though the report cautions that Apple did not acquire the startup as some sources have speculated.

Wifarer, which is available as an iOS and Android app, features dynamic real-time indoor positioning to help people navigate malls, museums and other venues. Apple of course has its own micro-location indoor positioning system in the form of iBeacons.

Watchers have speculated that these micro-transmitters installed in shopping malls, retail stores, airports and elsewhere could also be used to collect data to improve Apple Maps and Stanger’s hiring certainly seems to point in that direction… Read More

 

Apple Maps adds 3D Flyover of Stonehenge

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 28, 2014

Apple lately has been increasingly expanding coverage of the three-dimensional view of its mapping service. Just earlier this month, 3D Flyover coverage extended to include the east side of the San Francisco Bay Area, including the city of Berkeley and its University of California, the birthplace of the flavor of Unix used in OS X and iOS.

But what if you could take a 3D topographic tour of the ancient monument? Well, now you can as Flyover coverage now includes areas of Wiltshire, England, about two miles west of Amesbury and eight miles north of Salisbury where this mysterious prehistoric monument is located… Read More

 

Apple Maps 3D flyover coverage expands to Berkeley and East Bay areas

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2014

Apple continues to add major new areas to the 3D Flyover coverage in its mapping service available on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 6 or later and Macs running OS X Mavericks.

In late-March, the firm expanded 3D Flyover coverage to include Australia’s Perth, Spain’s Cordoba and France’s Saint Tropez and now Apple’s in-house Maps team has added three-dimensional maps for the areas of California including the city of Berkeley and the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay Area… Read More

 

Apple poaches VP of Amazon A9′s Search Technology group

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2014

Apple has made another high-profile hire, having poached Benoit Dupin, Vice President of Amazon A9′s Search Technology group, according to the executive’s professional business profile on LinkedIn.

Benoit, who brings over fifteen years of international technology industry experience within a wide range of disciplines, has left Amazon to help Apple improve search features in its own mapping service, sources speculated on Tuesday.

He isn’t the first Amazon executive to have left for 1 Infinite Loop. Back in October 2012, Apple hired away another prominent Amazon search technologist, William Stasior, who is now working with the Siri team… Read More

 

3D Flyover views for Cordoba, Perth and Saint-Tropez now live in Apple Maps

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2014

Apple has added to its struggling Maps service cool three-dimensional Flyover views for three major new cities in Australia and Europe.

Starting today, anyone can rotate and zoom in on the architectural details and explore the topography of Australia’s Perth, Spain’s Cordoba and France’s Saint Tropez.

The company’s been dutifully expanding 3D Flyover coverage in more place around the world. Back in January, folks living in the cities of Marseille, France; Cape Town, South Africa; and Helsinki, Finland started seeing 3D Flyover maps in Apple Maps on iOS and OS X… Read More

 

New in iOS 7.1: Maps navigation prompts through your car’s stereo over Bluetooth

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2014

Apple has delivered iOS 7.1 yesterday, its first major iOS update since the software’s launch nearly six months ago. We’ve already detailed some of the noteworthy enhancements like Touch ID reliability improvements, new Siri features, CarPlay support, a bunch of bug fixes – some of which have been credited to prominent iOS hackers like the evad3rs team - and more.

According to developer Mike Piontek, Maps in iOS 7.1 includes a poorly labeled new feature called HFP Prompts which allows the app to play navigation prompts over your car’s speakers, via Bluetooth, even when the iPhone is not selected as the audio source. It’s a great addition to Apple’s in-car initiative because no longer do you have to fiddle with audio settings as HFP Prompts automatically does the right thing for you.

Jump past the fold for the full breakdown… Read More

 

Report sheds light on public transit directions in iOS 8′s Maps and other new features

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2014

A new report by the reliable blogger Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac has offered new details concerning Apple’s Maps service in iOS 8, the next major iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, which is expected to be released later this year.

Gurman learned from sources briefed on Apple’s plans that CEO Tim Cook, SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi and Maps head Patrice Gautier have been leading teams of Apple engineers since former iOS chief Scot Forstall’s departure in order to polish and enhance the service so it lives up to the “incredibly high standard” of Apple’s customers.

Here’s what you should expect from Apple Maps in iOS 8… Read More

 

How CarPlay predicts where you may be heading

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2014

Apple’s press release and the CarPlay preview page state that the newly rebranded feature lets drivers access some iPhone functionality through their vehicle’s in-car infotainment system.

Specifically, Apple mentions getting directions, making calls, sending and receiving messages and listening to music.

This is all pretty basic stuff, unless you take a closer look at how Apple brought context awareness and tapped artificial intelligence to predict where you may be heading, so you don’t even need to enter in an address for a final destination… Read More

 

Apple Maps 3D Flyover coverage expanded in Marseille, Cape Town and Helsinki

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2014

Apple has already boosted 3D Flyover coverage of its Maps service in the United States, France and a bunch of other key markets around the world and today the company has expanded three-dimensional Flyover views in France, South Africa and Finland.

Customers residing in the cities of Marseille (France), Cape Town (South Africa) and Helsinki (Finland) can now take advantage of 3D Flyover maps, which Apple creates by crunching data obtained by sending a fleet of planes that capture high-resolution terrain imagery at multiple angles… Read More

 

New tweak promises turn-by-turn navigation for unsupported countries

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 30, 2013

One of the downsides of Apple’s Maps app is that it doesn’t support turn-by-turn directions for all countries. A new jailbreak tweak is promising to fix the lack of turn-by-turn support within Apple maps, and it was just released on Cydia. Appropriately entitled MapsAllCountries, this new jailbreak tweak is available for iOS 6 and iOS 7 users who are jailbroken. Have a look past the break for more details. Read More

 

Apple patent details rich Maps layers, new features

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2013

Apple’s Maps for iOS – and now for Macs running OS X Mavericks – still pales in comparison with Google’s offering and will continue to struggle for some time until Apple achieves some sort of feature parity.

Google Maps are not only more accurate, they sport more features that put Google’s rich data sets amassed in years past to good use.

For instance, Google Maps have long had layers, basically objects that consist of one or more separate items that can be manipulated as a single unit.

Traffic, transit, bicycle, weather, clouds, photographs – these are all map layers.

Apple, too, is working on various layers of information for its digital maps offering, but with a twist, a new patent filing published Thursday has indicated… Read More

 

How PrimeSense’s 3D sensing technology could improve Apple Maps

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 26, 2013

Apple recently dropped a cool $350 million on the PrimeSense acqui-hire. An Apple spokeswoman has officially confirmed the deal last week, but refused to discuss her employer’s purpose or plans (as is the company’s wont). Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past few years, you must be familiar with PrimeSense, a Tel Aviv-based startup that licenses its 3D sensing hardware designs and chips to third-parties.

Perhaps the most famous PrimeSense licensee: Microsoft, whose Kinect motion-sensing system for the Xbox console is powered by PrimeSense.

For the sake of completeness, the much-improved Kinect that ships with the new Xbox One uses Microsoft’s own 3D sensing technology, not PrimeSense’s. Be that as it may, the PrimeSense deal has prompted a swirl of speculation among the Apple punditry. Some folks think Apple snapped up the Israeli startup for its rumored television set, others mention iPhones and iPads.

One well-informed source warns all of the speculated uses are too obvious and off mark. Instead, Apple needs PrimeSense to bolster up its Maps, the source insists… Read More

 

Google has lost significant mobile maps traffic to Apple since last year

By Cody Lee on Nov 11, 2013

Despite all of the user complaints and negative PR Apple encountered when it replaced Google Maps with its own in-house software in iOS 6 last year, the app has turned out to be quite a hit with US iPhone and iPad users.

According to research data from comScore, more than 35 million US iPhone owners used Apple’s Maps app in September 2013. That’s significantly more than the 6 million or so that used Google’s standalone iOS Maps app…

Read More

 

Apple hiring software engineers to help bring transit data to Maps

By Cody Lee on Oct 29, 2013

When Apple replaced Google Maps in iOS 6 with its own software last year, one of the biggest user complaints was that the new app didn’t have public transit data. For folks who take the bus or train to work everyday, it was a big deal.

The good news, though, is that the company does appear to be working on adding the feature. In addition to acquiring transit experts like HopStop and Embark, Apple has been hiring software engineers for its ‘Transit Routing’ team. Read More

 
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