Facebook launches its own Find My Friends feature

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 17, 2014

Social networking giant Facebook is bound to stir controversy all over again as it’s just introduced a new friend-tracking feature. Similar to Apple’s free Find My Friends iOS app, Facebook’s Nearby Friends basically notifies you when your friends are nearby.

It’s a rather radical idea, one Facebook said Thursday was designed to encourage people to “meet up and spend time together” in real life. Go figure. Learn more about Facebook’s Find My Friends right below the fold… Read More


Instagram reportedly testing location integration with Facebook Places

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2014

Facebook-owned Instagram has traditionally relied on Foursquare for its vast database of points of interest.

For example, upon uploading a photograph Instagram gives you an option of choosing a location where the image was taken using its Foursquare integration, simply by tapping a ‘Name This Location’ button.

Post acquisition, however, things have become a little weird.

Facebook has long been maintaining its own location database, Facebook Places. Two years into the acquisition, Instagram has now started using Facebook Places as its mapping service, at least for a subset of its users.

Despite this (expected) change, more than the 150 million Instagram fans can continue to share their check-ins to Foursquare from Instagram… Read More


Upcoming SXSW festival to use Apple’s iBeacons

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 6, 2014

SXSW, the annual music, film and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, Texas, will use Apple’s indoor positioning and microlocation technology dubbed iBeacons to improve the experience by enabling attendees to pick up badges faster using the official SXSW Go app, a free download in the App Store. Additionally, audience members will be able to use the app and nearby iBeacons to interact in real-time during sessions… Read More


Apple releases iBeacon specification

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2014

Apple’s iBeacons, an indoor positioning system that can detect nearby devices to optionally push promotional marketing messages, has been picking up considerable steam lately. For instance, such brands as Major League Baseball and Apple itself have implemented the system, as did various retailers, theme parksgrocery stores and even car accessory makers.

According to BEEKn.net, Apple has now released detailed specification for the iBeacon platform. Released through Apple’s ‘Made for iPhone’ (MFi) initiative, the documents are apparently separate from Apple’s main Bluetooth MFi specification.. Read More


Waze gains Calendar support and event navigation

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 20, 2014

An update to Waze’s free mapping, traffic and navigation app for the iPhone and iPad is about to land on the App Store later today, bringing integration with your iOS Calendar, the company wrote Thursday in a blog post.

More importantly, this Waze refresh allows you to navigate to Calendar events with just one tap, making it easy to access location-based events stored in the iOS Calendar, right within the app.

Waze for iPhone is available free of charge in the App Store. This particular update is expected to launch in the App Store later today… Read More


Developers say iOS 7.1 fixes issue impacting location-based apps

By Cody Lee on Feb 11, 2014

It appears that an issue in iOS 7 that disabled the geolocation functions on apps that were force-closed by the user is being corrected in iOS 7.1. Developers say that in the latest iOS 7.1 betas, force-closing an app does not disable its location-aware functions.

This has been a major problem for developers since the launch of iOS 7 last fall—particularly for those who had location-based apps. Some devs have even reported that their App Store ratings have plummeted in the last 6 months due to the technical change… Read More


Foursquare now lets you order in from local restaurants

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 30, 2014

A fresh update to Foursquare’s free iPhone and iPad application has enabled an interesting new feature: from now on, whenever you fancy a bite – be it breakfast, lunch or dinner – you can use either the mobile app or the web interface at foursquare.com to find nearby restaurants that accept orders from Grubhub Seamless, the popular U.S. based online food ordering company.

You’ll notice a new GrubHub or Seamless icon when browsing a place in Foursquare. Just tap it to place your order through GrubHub Seamless. To retrieve a list of nearby restaurants that will bring food to you and your hungry friends, simply search for ‘delivery’ (example: ‘taco delivery’)… Read More


SocialRadar is a new take on location-based people discovery

By Jim Gresham on Jan 30, 2014

Social media is now a social norm. College students procrastinating homework by connecting with others on Facebook started a massive revolution. First, social media was limited through Facebook to only students with college email addresses. Quickly, Facebook became an open platform for everyone to enjoy.

Twitter took fire and is still gaining in popularity with all age groups. However, unlike Facebook, Twitter users are less scared about their grandmother stalking them down. Of course, there is Foursquare, letting users check in to places around the globe. The first platform to truly push geolocation as a primary factor, Foursquare rustled a few feathers, but like all social media, has become quite mainstream, with users less frequently scared to post their whereabouts.

There are many other less mainstream social media platforms and new ones arise everyday. However, not many new services are instantly successful. SocialRadar, launching today, could be the new major social media platform, destine to hang in the ranks of Facebook and Twitter, or at least complement them nicely… Read More


Dutch theme park tapping iBeacons to boost visitor engagement times

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2014

Apple’s indoor positioning technology, iBeacons, is cropping up in some unlikely places. No, I don’t mean grocery stores, trade shows, Apple Stores, stadiums and bars. According to a Dutch blog, one of the country’s theme park will be deploying iBeacons in March to provide visitors with useful information right on their iOS devices.

It’s also interesting that Apple’s finance boss felt the urge to mention during yesterday’s earnings call that the company is now using iBeacons in a number of its retail outlets to beam relevant product information and promotions as customers get near an iBeacon… Read More


Foursquare releases its major iOS 7 overhaul

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 5, 2013

Foursquare, the location-based social networking website, has seen the September 18 release of iOS 7 come and go without a matching update to its iOS app on its part.

The company last month issued a fairly significant update that brought out a new recommendations feature which sends you useful location-based information, in real-time, like current specials at a restaurant.

Today’s update finally brings Foursquare for iPhone and iPod touch on par with iOS 7 aesthetics. Foursquare is one of those apps that already had light design of sorts, but now it’s much prettier and easier on the eyes… Read More


Judge dismisses privacy lawsuit against Apple over location tracking

By Cody Lee on Nov 28, 2013

Reuters is reporting that US District Judge Lucy Koh has dismissed a privacy lawsuit against Apple this week. The suit alleged that the company was collecting location data through iOS devices, even when the geo-location feature was turned off.

Four plaintiffs joint-filed the suit—which is just one of several that followed Apple’s ‘Locationgate’ scandal—in 2011, complaining that not only was Apple tracking users’ location without consent, but they charged them too much for their iPhones… Read More


How to use Frequent Locations and Next Destination features in iOS 7

By Sébastien Page on Oct 20, 2013

A few days ago, I posted a screenshot of my Notification Center showing travel time to my Next Destination, something iOS 7 had learned about me without any sort of data input of my part.

A few people asked me how I managed to get this information in my Notification Center. I believed it was a commonly used feature of iOS 7, but apparently I was wrong.

In this simple tutorial, I will show you how to use the Frequent Locations in iOS 7 in order to find out information about your Next Destination. Privacy activists may want to skip this one… Read More


iTunes TOS amended with Touch ID, Popular Near Me clarification

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 18, 2013

In another sign of the imminent iOS 7 release, Apple has just released iTunes 11.1 for Mac and Windows with support for iOS 7 devices and installations, also bringing out new features like iTunes Radio, Podcast Stations and Genius Shuffle.

As part of the release – and consistent with Apple’s history – the company has updated the iTunes Terms & Conditions. The document has been amended with additional information regarding authenticating your account for purchases and automatic delivery of app updates, in addition to the previously unknown tidbits about the App Store’s Popular Near Me feature… Read More


A closer look at Frequent Locations in iOS 7

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 8, 2013

Apple’s iOS 7 upgrade, when it lands this Fall, will allow users to opt-in to mapping where they’ve been since installing the software, how many times and for how long. The Frequent Locations feature, which first appeared in iOS 7 Beta, is found in Settings. When enabled, it permits iOS devices to use GPS coordinates of the places you frequently visit, Apple explains.

The opt-in, consumer-facing feature is provided for the purposes of improving Maps (and other location-based products and services), providing useful location-related information and letting you check out a handy map history of the places you’ve visited. Here’s what you need to know about Frequent Locations in iOS 7… 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


Skyhook says Google bad-mouthed its Wi-Fi location tech to Apple

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 3, 2013

It’s nearly unthinkable: a technology firm bad-talking a rival to a prospective customer. That’s the heart of the latest claim by a location services company suing Internet giant Google for alleged patent infringement.

Skyhook Wireless is asking a court to compel Google to turn over documents showing co-founder Sergey Brin spoke badly of SkyHook’s GPS location technology. As part of a recent court filing, Skyhook charges Brin told Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that the iPhone maker could do better if it went with Google… Read More


How to view a map via the Spotlight search page

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 28, 2013

Mappr is a recently released jailbreak tweak that replaces the traditional Spotlight search with that of a map. The map can be configured in the Settings app to track your location or to change the map type.

Although the idea of Mappr sounds interesting, its execution leaves a bit to be desired. Check out our video walkthrough to see what I mean. Read More


Google Now doesn’t tax your battery, says Google, but users beg to differ

By Christian Zibreg on May 2, 2013

As we told you yesterday, a growing number of users report problems with the Google Now feature depleting their iPhone’s battery fast due to its reliance on iOS location capabilities. On Monday, the Internet giant finally brought Google Now capabilities to iDevices via an update to its native Search iOS app.

Responding to the battery life concerns, Google on Thursday issued a statement denying any problems with the app draining your iPhone’s battery… Read More


Waze CEO discusses the state of iOS 6 Maps

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


Major Foursquare update focuses on search and Explore recommendations

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 10, 2013

Celebrating its fourth anniversary, the location-based social networking service Foursquare today pushed a major new version of its mobile app, bringing out new features that tap over 3.5 billion check-ins users have made on the service thus far. “With the new Foursquare 6.0, we’re crunching all our data to show the best of what’s nearby, anywhere in the world, the second you open up the app,” the team wrote in a blog post Wednesday. Here’s what’s new… Read More

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