Apple seen testing push notifications for resolved Maps issues

By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2014

Apple is apparently testing a new notification system for Maps, according to a report from MacRumors. The site has posted screenshots showing a new option that some users are seeing to receive a push notification when their reported issue with the app has been fixed.

It works like this: after choosing to ‘Report a Problem’ within the Maps app, users are given the option to be notified when engineers have fixed the issue. And once the problem has been resolved, Apple sends out a push notification to that user’s device letting them know… 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


How to get turn by turn directions on Pebble watch

By Sébastien Page on Mar 23, 2014

I was very reluctant to get a Pebble but I have to admit that finally purchasing one a couple months or so ago is probably the best decision I’ve made in a while. If you listen to Let’s Talk iOS or Let’s Talk Jailbreak, then you probably already know that I am now a complete Pebble convert. Well, that is at least until Apple comes up with its own wearable, because as it is, the Pebble is extremely limited with what you can do.

Getting directions on your Pebble for example is something that I was anticipating before buying the smartwatch, but as it turned out, the alternatives that are available in the App Store are so bad, that I couldn’t believe someone hadn’t figured out how to get turn by turn directions on the Pebble the right way. Then I had a breakthrough… 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


Google Maps now lets you choose multiple modes of transit

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 28, 2014

Google has been dutifully adding new features to its native Maps application for the iPhone and iPad. Just earlier this month, we saw Google Maps gain a new feature allowing users to get notified when a faster route becomes available when heading towards a destination in the navigation mode.

Today’s minor update, now live in the App Store, includes the obligatory bug fixes and another new feature: an improved route planning with multiple modes of transit.

Although it seems like a minor addition, the feature is quite handy when planning your route because you are no longer limited to defining a route based on either walking, driving or biking and can instead choose multiple modes of transit… 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


Google Maps app updated with new ‘faster route’ feature

By Cody Lee on Feb 3, 2014

Despite being kicked off iOS in the fall of 2012, Google Maps has managed to maintain a high profile on Apple’s platform. Released as a standalone app that same year, Google’s Maps app offers a solid alternative to the stock application.

And it gets even better today. Google posted an updated for its iOS Maps app this morning that adds a new ‘faster route’ feature. Now, when you’re heading towards a destination, you’ll get notified when a faster route becomes available… 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


Nokia pulls Here Maps because iOS 7 changes ‘harm user experience’

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 27, 2013

Nokia’s long-standing mapping service rebranded as Here got announced in November 2012, with the native iPhone and iPad application arriving soon after with maps for around 200 countries, voice-guided walking navigation, public transportation directions and offline capability.

It was a nice little app that Nokia hoped would effectively fill the void in the App Store at the height of the iOS Mapsgate controversy.

Then, Google released its revamped standalone Maps for iPhone and spoiled the party for Nokia as its offering quickly tanked in App Store rankings. On Thursday, the embattled Finnish company has removed the Here application from the App Store, with a company spokesperson firing a potshot at Apple’s iOS 7 in a written statement… Read More


Apple believed to have acquired mapping firm BroadMap, note-taking app Catch

By Cody Lee on Dec 23, 2013

During Apple’s latest earnings call, Tim Cook noted that the company made 15 ‘strategic acquisitions’ during its fiscal 2013. But out of those 15 purchases, we’ve only heard about 9 or 10 of them, begging the question: who else did Apple buy this year?

Mark Gurman over at 9to5Mac has a pretty good theory about at least two of them. Citing sources inside Apple, as well as evidence from LinkedIn and other sites, Gurman is reporting that Apple also acquired mapping firm BroadMap and Catch this year… 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


Google Maps now lets you see flight, hotel and restaurant reservations from Gmail

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2013

It’s been some time since we’ve seen a meaningful update to Google Maps for iPhone and iPad, especially given Google Maps is probably the Internet giant’s most popular product, after Search.

As if reading our mind, just an hour ago the firm has quietly pushed a minor update into the App Store. The new Google Maps version 2.5 comes with a few bug fixes and brings with it a cool new feature which lets you see your reservations from Gmail on the map.

Say you made a flight, hotel or restaurant reservation. Upon receiving the confirmation email in Gmail, Google can now take this information (they are already doing this for Google Now cards, by the way), extract the address and show you precise locations for these items within the Google Maps iOS app.

It’s a minor, albeit welcome, enhancement that will up competition a notch for Apple’s own iOS Maps app. I love how little things like this make Google Maps more integrated with other Google apps. We’ve seen Google do this frequently and my guess is they’ll continue to leverage their premium iOS apps to build a platform on top of iOS, so to speak… 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


Best apps for your commute

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


MapQuest app finds relevance again with beautiful iOS 7 redesign

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


Google’s Waze app updated with voice search, event reporting and 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


Share customized maps and directions with Mapkin

By Lory Gil on Nov 1, 2013

When you are giving directions to someone on how to get to your house, only you know the signifiers and landmarks to explain the easiest route and secret back entrances to your neighborhood.

Mapkin – Maps, GPS & Personalized Navigation is a mapping service that lets you customize the route, add your own voice navigation, and send directions to friends and family so they won’t be confused by awkward instructions… Read More

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