New patent points to lusciously animated Apple Maps with photorealistic visual effects

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2015

Three-dimensional Flyover aerial photography in Apple Maps is cool, but wouldn’t it be great if things like water, foliage and other dynamic objects were animated based on touch, motion and sound?

That’s exactly what Apple appears to be researching if a new patent application uncovered by AppleInsider is indicative of future Apple Maps features. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday awarded the iPhone maker a new patent on “Non-static 3D map views.” Read More


Apple Maps Flyover coverage expands to new locales in France, Germany, Japan and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2015

Apple has added a bunch of new cities and landmarks around the world to its three-dimensional Flyover views in Maps. The new locales in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia, Mexico and the United States are now available in Apple Maps on both iOS and OS X platforms. Read More


Apple acquires mapping visualization startup Mapsense

By Cody Lee on Sep 16, 2015

Apple has acquired Mapsense, a San Francisco-based startup that specializes in tools for analyzing and visualizing location data, Recode reports. A spokesperson confirmed the buyout, saying “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The deal is said to be worth anywhere between $25 million and $30 million, and it includes Mapsense’s 12-person team and technology. That tech includes a cloud-based tool that allows users to manipulate graphical models of maps that hold huge sums of data, and a recently launched platform for developers. Read More


Google releases standalone Street View app for iPhone and iPod touch

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 3, 2015

A month ago, Google promised to release a standalone Street View mobile app “early next month.” Today, the Internet giant has made good on that promise as the all-new Google Street View app just hit the App Store (actually, it soft-launched in August 2014, but today’s update feels like a whole new app and anyone can use it now).

Available for the iPhone and iPod touch, it lets you browse and enjoy Google’s awesome street-level photography.

With this software, you can move and pan around by dragging your finger on the screen and even upload your own 360-degree photography to Google Maps to share your photo spheres with the world. Read More


Apple adds 20 new Flyover locations to Maps

By Cody Lee on Aug 11, 2015

Apple on Tuesday added 20 new locations to the 3D Flyover feature in its iOS and OS X Maps applications. The new spots include cities and landmarks in the US, Japan, Italy, Spain and France.

First introduced when Apple Maps launched in 2012, the Flyover feature allows users to take interactive, three-demensional virtual tours of various points of interest from around the world. Read More


Google confirms brand new Street View mobile app arriving early next month

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 4, 2015

Two months ago, Google hinted it was readying a brand new mobile application called Street View. The app was designed to provide easy access to your photo spheres and those from Google and other contributors. Today, the Internet giant sent an email blast confirming that the native Street View for iOS app is coming in early-September.

The search company did not share detailed information about the upcoming software, but we’ve been able to glean a few tidbits. For starters, the Street View app will replace Google’s Photo Sphere Camera mobile app for iOS and Android. More important than that, Street View will be capable of linking to a dedicated spherical camera hardware. Read More


Nokia sells HERE maps division to German carmakers Audi, BMW and Daimler

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2015

Nokia, once the dominant force in the mobile industry, has sold off its prized HERE maps division to a German carmaker consortium comprised of Audi, BMW and Daimler, technology blog Re/code reported this morning.

The $3.07 billion transaction (2.8 billion euros) is pending regulatory approval and should be completed in the first quarter of 2016. The deal is meant to “secure the long-term availability” of HERE maps as an open platform, as per a media release.

News of the deal arrives following months of speculation that a bunch of Silicon Valley technology giants were interested in a takeover bid, including ride sharing service Uber, as well as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Baidu and others. Read More


Google Maps gaining a cool new feature to revisit all the places you’ve explored

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 22, 2015

Google yesterday announced a new feature for users of its mapping service which makes it easy and fun to reminisce about the places you’ve explored with Google Maps.

Currently available on desktop and Android, the “Your Timeline” feature lets you revisit any place you’ve been on a given day, month or year.

Your Timeline is private and visible only to you.

As a bonus, if you use Google’s new Photos mobile app, available free of charge in the App Store, it’ll show you the photos you took when viewing a specific day. Read More


Google Maps revamps transit directions, adds image galleries and new sharing options

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2015

Google Maps for iOS has been refreshed in the App Store with a trio of useful new features ahead of a brand new native Street View for iOS app due in mid-August.

Google Maps for iPhone and iPad now sports revamped public transport directions while adding new choices for alternate routes and real-time data about your arrival time.

Newly added sharing features include options to post Google Maps locations to Facebook and send map URLs to your Facebook Messenger friends. There’s also a brand new image gallery which presents various photos of a location in a grid view. Read More


Climb 3,000 feet up Yosemite’s El Capitan in Google Maps’ first-ever vertical Street View

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2015

Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan isn’t just the world’s most famous rock wall, but the official name of Apple’s latest desktop operating system, too. Coincidentally or not, Google Maps has teamed up with legendary climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell to capture an awesome panorama tour of El Capitan’s epic 3,000 feet climb.

You can explore it inside your browser with Google Maps’ marvelous vertical Street View mode offering high-quality 360-degree photography of the rocks from the climbers’ perspective that can be rotated and panned around. Read More


Apple adds 7 new Flyover locations to Maps

By Cody Lee on Jun 24, 2015

Apple on Tuesday added a handful of new locations to the 3D Flyover feature in its iOS and OS X Maps apps. The new locations include San Juan, Puerto Rico and other cities around the world.

First introduced in Apple Maps when the app launched in 2012, the Flyover feature allows users to take close-up, 3-dimensional looks at buildings, landmarks and various other areas of interest. Read More


How to send any place in Google Maps from your desktop to iPhone, iPod touch or iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 9, 2015

Google’s native Maps application for the iPhone and iPad now includes a handy option to send a place you search for on desktop to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Before you can use this handy feature, you must update to Google Maps 4.7 for iOS or later, and enable this option in settings. In this post, I’m going to teach you how to set up and use this feature so you can easily send any place from Google Maps on your desktop to your iOS device. Read More


Apple Maps gaining public transit directions

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 8, 2015

It’s transit time! Apple just announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco’s Moscone West that its mapping and navigation service will soon provide transit lines, bus stations, ferry lines and more.

Available across Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod devices, the improved Apple Maps app will sport departure times, multi-modal routing with step-by-step directions, estimated times for walking directions and much more. Read More


Apple wants to put Maps onto the web

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 3, 2015

According to a new Apple job listing first spotted by Benedict Evans, Apple is about to make its mapping service available to everyone via a cross-platform web application. The full-time position seeks a web engineer with JavaScript expertise “to help make maps work seamlessly on the web.”

Currently, Apple Maps are accessible on the desktop via Mac, on mobile iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices and through your wrist via Maps for Apple Watch.

Providing an HTML-based Maps web app should support any standards-compliant web browser while putting pressure on Google Maps. In addition, Maps as a web service would make it comparable to Microsoft’s Bing Maps, Nokia HERE and other mapping service accessible through the desktop web interface. Read More


Google Maps gains enhanced transit data with live arrivals for buses, metros and subway systems

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 2, 2015

According to a post on the official Google Lat Long blog, the company’s mapping service now includes improved real-time transit information for select cities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hungary and the Netherlands.

The more accurate transit data includes real-time information on arrivals for buses, metros and subway systems, Google said. Google Maps will even alert you to cancelled routes, so you can “better navigate the intricate and unpredictable world of transit in major cities around the world.” Read More


Those mysterious Apple vans are just gathering data for Maps

By Sébastien Page on May 29, 2015

No, the mysterious vans that were spotted in different parts of the country this year aren’t part of Project Titan, Apple’s secret self-driving car project. Instead, they are used to gather data that will most likely be used to power future versions of the company’s Maps app, reducing reliance on third-party data providers, as Mark Gurman reported Friday.   Read More


New report details Siri API, Apple’s Google Now, ‘Browse Around Me’ in Maps and more iOS 9 stuff

By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2015

Apple is reportedly reading a Siri Application Programming Interface (API), according to a new report. Called Breadcrumbs, it should let developers enhance iPhone and iPad applications by implementing Siri intelligence in a limited fashion. Another new initiative seeks to create a Google Now experience for iOS devices.

In addition, the Cupertino firm is reportedly adding augmented reality features to Apple Maps, including one dubbed Browse Around Me.

The way it’s supposed to work, you’d point your iPhone’s camera toward a particular business or an area and Maps would put up relevant information such as a virtual view of menu items or daily specials, 9to5Mac said Wednesday. Read More


Apple Maps Transit service to offer limited support for US, Canada, Europe and China at launch

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2015

Transit directions, along with a trip-planning feature and indoor maps, is rumored to be a cornerstone feature of Apple Maps in iOS 9. According to 9to5Mac on Tuesday, transit directions in Apple Maps are set to launch in approximately a half-dozen cities across the United States, Canada and Europe, with more to be added at a later stage.

In fact, as AppleInsider first reported three days ago, Apple’s mapping service in China is better than Apple Maps in Europe or the United States. Read More


Apple Maps gains data from NavAds, Yellow Pages and other partners

By Cody Lee on May 23, 2015

Apple on Friday updated the Acknowledgements page for its mapping software, adding a handful of new data partners. The page gives credit to TomTom, Yelp and other companies that provide Apple Maps with imagery and information.

Among the new partnerships added this week are E-WEGO, a business listing firm, navigational ad expert NavAds, and Yellow Pages. TripAdvisor and are also now listed as official partners, following a report earlier this year. Read More


In time for Memorial Day, Google Maps adds new traffic alerts and alternate routes

By Christian Zibreg on May 21, 2015

Memorial Day is one of the busiest driving days in the U.S. so little wonder that Google is now boosting traffic alerts on Google Maps to warn drivers of congestion on the route ahead, helping them avoid traffic jam.

“Now when you input your destination, you’ll get an explanation of upcoming traffic conditions that helps you identify the quickest route,” according to the Internet giant. Read More

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