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


Apple Maps team hiring Web UI designer for ‘secret project’

By Cody Lee on Sep 27, 2013

Apple has posted a new job listing today, calling for a Maps Web User Interface Designer. The inquiry asks that applicants be able to design, develop, and maintain complex front-end code for a new ‘secret project.’

The position is located in Santa Clara Valley, California. And according to the listing, it’s part of a smal team that is working on an advanced web platform that will be the backbone of many future Apple services… Read More


Apple Maps and Siri woes again make headlines

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 25, 2013

Just when you thought the dust has settled over Apple’s digital personal assistant, Siri, and the company’s Google Maps replacement software in iOS, latest reports once again pan the two services over gross inaccuracies.

Worse, these stories paint Apple Maps and Siri in a not-so-favorable light – and very publicly, too.

The first report comes from Alaska and warns about people looking for directions to the Fairbanks International Airport, only to be instructed to drive onto an airport taxiway, which is located directly across the runway where airplanes take off and land…. Read More


Norwegian government blocking Apple from capturing 3D map data for Oslo

By Cody Lee on Aug 12, 2013

It appears that the Norwegian government is blocking Apple from capturing 3D Flyover footage of Oslo, its capital. The news comes from a report out of Norway-based newspaper Aftenposten.

A Norway government official has confirmed this to be the case, saying the country’s National Security Authority is intentionally blocking Apple from grabbing the aerial data it needs for its Maps app because it doesn’t want the company accidentally mapping out confidential buildings within Oslo… Read More


In another major Maps push, Apple seeking dozens of Ground Truth specialists

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2013

A bunch of job ads surfaced earlier today on Apple’s website, advertising positions on the company’s Maps team. The iPhone maker is seeking so-called ground truth specialists around the world to help correct address and landmark inaccuracies.

Apple is looking for people “with a passion for mapping, great testing skills, and deep regional knowledge to help us build better and better maps”.

Ideal candidates will be responsible for the quality assessment of Apple’s Maps in their region, including both data and map services… Read More


In the aftermath of the Apple deal, HopStop for Windows Phone gets discontinued

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 22, 2013

Last Friday, Apple confirmed it had snapped up HopStop, the brains behind a transit-navigation app which provides detailed subway, bus, train, taxi, walking and biking directions. The move should complement Apple’s troubled mapping solution as the company works toward folding HopStop’s high-quality public transit data into its in-house Maps app.

Though an important capability, Apple initially felt content with third-parties tackling the transit navigation puzzle. Be that as it may, it’s now come to our attention that the Windows Phone app has rather unceremoniously been pulled following the HopStop acquisition.

File this one under the ‘business as usual’ drawer: Apple similarly pulled Chomp for Android after acquiring the app discovery engine back in February 2012Read More


Apple buys HopStop transit app to beef up Maps

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 19, 2013

As pointed out by multiple outlets and tweeted by several reporters, Apple has acquired an online navigation startup to improve its troubled Maps offering, Bloomberg just reported. HopStop makes a free iPhone and Android transit app that features detailed subway, bus, train, taxi, walking and even biking directions.

This is exactly the kind of data Apple’s Maps need in order to become a viable alternative to Google Maps. The HopStop software also features real-time transit information via the HopStop Live service, the official transit maps, nearby station search and station-to-station schedules in over 600 cities throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, including 140 major metropolitan areas… Read More


Apple acquires location-based data startup Locationary

By Cody Lee on Jul 19, 2013

According to a new report, Apple has acquired Toronto-based Locationary, a Canadian startup that provides crowdsourced location data, for an unknown amount. The deal, which has already closed, includes both the company’s tech and team.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling has even confirmed the new acquisition, offering up the usual boiler plate response ‘Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Read More


Apple shows off standalone Maps Mac app

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2013

During the OS X Mavericks segment here at WWDC 2013, Apple’s OS X head Craig Federighi announced a new native Maps app for the Mac. The standalone program takes advantage of core system enhancements in OS X Mavericks. The resulting experince is much more fluid, pleasing and responsive compared to what you had in Safari. One of the interesting features is the ability to send any location or route right from the Maps Mac app right to your iDevice’s Lock screen… Read More

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