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 Lory Gil on Nov 15, 2013
Driving back and forth every day to the office can be a burden if your commute is more than 20 minutes on average, which it is for most people. If your drive lasts at least as long as a broadcast sitcom, you probably have a routine for keeping yourself from going mad on the road. If you don’t you should.
We have a list of apps that we think will help make your commute easier by letting you know what the traffic is like, how soon your bus will arrive, and where to find the cheapest parking lot in the city… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 14, 2013
When the subject of the best iOS maps app comes up, typically you’ll only hear a few names mentioned. There’s Apple Maps, which is the most popular by default, and Google Maps, and then a mix of Waze, HopStop and other user favorites.
But today, MapQuest has thrown its name back into the conversation with its major 4.0 update. The app has been completely rebuilt from the ground up (apparently a 9-month endeavor) with an all-new look, and several handy new features… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 6, 2013
After months of speculation, Google bought popular social mapping startup Waze in June of this year. And following the purchase, Google’s VP of Geo said the company was looking forward to bringing its search capabilities to the app.
Today, it has made good on that promise. An update just posted for the Waze iPhone and iPad app, which brings it to version to 3.7.6, that includes a handy new voice-based search option for addresses and places in over 40 languages… Read More
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 Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2013
After adding Waze incident reports to the mobile Google Maps app on the iPhone and iPad, the search Goliath today issued a minor update adding a few new features which expand on the application’s capabilities. In addition to some housekeeping and a pair of new Middle East languages, Google Maps has brought out improvements to navigation that will help plan your next trip or make real-time decisions based on traffic conditions, especially when you’re driving… 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 Christian Zibreg on Sep 12, 2013
Apple hasn’t talked much about its new M7 motion coprocessor that was specifically designed to work alongside the A7 chip inside the iPhone 5s to improve battery life by offloading some tasks that don’t require the full power of the main A7 processor.
Some of these tasks include polling motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass sensors without waking up the A7 chip
According to a new report, Apple has bigger plans for the M7 chip and could use it to enable new geolocation Maps features in a way that won’t bring a significant hit on the battery… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 20, 2013
Putting its June acquisition of the popular social mapping and location startup Waze to good use, the Internet giant Google today announced that crowd-sourced incident reports from Wazers will be soon available through the Google Maps mobile apps for iOS and Android.
This means when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures and more on Waze, their updates will also appear in real-time on the Google Maps mobile apps in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the US… 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 Aug 8, 2013
In another showing of the key differences between Google and Apple, the Internet giant on Thursday announced that relevant advertising will now start appearing in the native Google Maps app for iOS and Android devices.
Relevant advertising will appear at the bottom of the screen after you perform a search, Google said, adding that ads may include a title, ad text and a link to get directions.
Great, Google, just great! You can go ahead and sell me at a premium to advertisers all you want, but I hate ads and am switching over to Apple Maps as we speak… 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 Cody Lee on Jul 28, 2013
Earlier this month, Apple confirmed that it had acquired yet another mapping software company. Its name is HopStop, and it’s behind the highly popular smartphone app of the same name that provides subway schedules, maps, and a slew of other useful transit data.
And this weekend, the app gets even better with its first update since word got out about Apple’s acquisition. The update brings the app to version 2.6, and includes a handful of new features and improvements such as real time delay and incident reporting, and more… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 26, 2013
Google+ Local for iOS, the reincarnation of Google Places, will be pulled from the App Store on August 7th, according to an email from the Mountain View company. The move comes just over one year after the app first launched for iPhones and iPads.
For those who aren’t familiar with the software, it allows users to voice search for nearby restaurants and businesses, as well as read and post reviews. But now that it’s been fully integrated into Google Maps, Google says the standalone app needs to go… 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 Jul 17, 2013
Google yesterday pushed a major 2.0 update to its native Maps iOS app.
The software has brought native iPad support, offline maps, a much cleaner interface, improved navigation, indoor maps of building floors and other enhancements.
By the way, today’s Chrome iOS update lets you open map links in the Google Maps app instead of the browser.
To go along with the new Maps app, Google yesterday issued a version 1.4 of its Google Maps SDK for iOS. The new frameworks make it easy for Apple’s registered iOS developers to write apps that incorporate such new features as Street View, Indoor Maps, and a new look and feel… Read More