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
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…
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
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
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
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
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
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 HopStop.com 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
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
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
By Cody Lee on May 24, 2013
Apple billed 3D Flyover as one of the headlining features of its Maps app, when it replaced Google Maps in iOS last fall with its own in-house software. Unfortunately, at the time, the feature was only available for a handful of cities.
But the Maps team has been awfully busy in recent months, adding Flyover support to a number of new areas. Earlier this month, it expanded Flyover coverage in Paris, France, and this week it’s bolstered support in greater California… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 9, 2013
3D Flyover, a headline feature of Apple’s in-house mapping service available on compatible iOS 6 devices, initially included only a handful of U.S. cities. The last major expansion was in March, when Apple added 3D Flyovers in twelve new cities – including such venues as Tokyo Station, Japan Imperial Palace and Tokyo Tower – and expanded Flyover coverage in more than a dozen U.S. cities.
Today, the company added 3D buildings for Paris, France and surrounding areas. I have a feeling iDB’s own Sebastien Page will have lots of fun playing with Maps on his iPad… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 30, 2013
Hot on the heels of a pair of yesterday’s reports which asserted that Apple’s upcoming iOS 7 will have a “very flat” user interface akin to Windows Phone’s ‘Metro’ visual style – along with Mac OS X 10.9 borrowing core multitasking features from iOS 7 – 9to5Mac writer Mark Gurman is back at it again with another exclusive. Today’s story details an alleged integration of Apple’s Siri digital personal assistant and in-house built Maps service in iOS 7 with your car’s dashboard… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 16, 2013
Waze, a free social GPS application developed by the Israeli start-up Waze Mobile, at point was supposedly going to be acquired by Apple in order to improve iOS 6 Maps data, though later reports dismissed the rumor as wishful thinking.
Its CEO Noam Bardin was interviewed at AllThingsD’s Dive Into Mobile conference yesterday.
Among the topics discussed, Barding shared his observations concerning Apple’s Maps service which debuted as part of iOS 6 in September 2012, here’s what he said… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Apr 5, 2013
Is Apple preparing to take another chunk out of Google’s mapping franchise? A patent filed in 2011 and entitled “3D Position Tracking for Panoramic Navigation,” discovered Thursday, suggests the iPhone maker is considering adding street level navigation to its own iOS 6 Maps technology.
By virtue of the description, the invention suggests using movement sensors built into the iPhone and iPad to make it easier for mobile users to move within virtual maps. Currently, Google’s Street View feature makes use of mouse movements and touchscreen input for navigation. A key difference between Apple Maps and Google Maps may also include the ability to navigate within structures… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 28, 2013
When Apple released iOS 6 last year, it replaced the long-running Google Maps app with its own in-house mapping software. And, as most of you know, it took a lot of criticism over the move due to its inaccurate map data, missing features and other issues.
It was so bad, in fact, that Tim Cook wrote an open letter to iOS users, promising Apple would work non-stop to make it better. And it has been. It’s already made several improvements to the app, and is in the middle of a big hiring push for its Maps team… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 23, 2013
Big news out of Cupertino this evening. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has acquired indoor mobile location positioning firm WiFiSLAM, in a deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million.
Apple has confirmed the acquisition of the company, which possesses proprietary technology that allows mobile apps to detect a smartphone user’s location inside of buildings using preexisting ambient Wi-Fi signals… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 13, 2013
When Tim Cook wrote his open letter last September, apologizing for the quality of the new Maps app, he said that Apple would work on it non-stop until it lived up to its incredibly high standards. And it has been.
Though it hasn’t garnered much media attention, Apple has made a number of improvements to its Maps app over the past six months, including adding Flyover support and 3D building images to several new cities… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 11, 2013
Back in February, Apple seeded a beta version of iOS 6.1.1 to developers. The update featured a lengthy change log of some much needed fixes and improvements for its iOS Maps application in Japan.
Of course, Apple forewent that release in order to push out bug fixes for the iPhone 4S, and later Exchange. But it looks like Japan users finally got their new Map data that they’ve been waiting for today… Read More