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Three years after Apple launched its own iOS Maps app to replace Google as its iPhone and iPad map provider, the Cupertino company is readying its first major enhancements to the service. While Apple was known to be gearing up for the launch of a mass transit directions service this fall in a handful of cities, sources have revealed that it is also developing its first entirely in-house mapping database to reduce its reliance on TomTom, using a fleet of mysterious vans to take still photos of business storefronts to replace Yelp photos, and building a 3D Street View feature. Apple has been using the sensor-equipped vans in cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York since earlier this year, and, below, we detail how the vehicles are advancing Apple’s plans for the future of Maps…
Bing May 6, 2015
Rumors that Apple might be creating its own search engine started doing the rounds last fall, when webmasters started seeing web crawler visits from IP addresses starting with 17 – the IP address block owned entirely by Apple. Apple has now officially confirmed in a support document that it is operating its own web crawler called Applebot.
Applebot is the web crawler for Apple, used by products including Siri and Spotlight Suggestions. It respects customary robots.txt rules and robots meta tags. It originates in the 18.104.22.168 net block.
While the wording is clearly intended to suggest that this is just business as usual, both the fact that Apple is running its own web crawler at all, and the somewhat vague wording, are interesting … expand full story
Bing December 19, 2014