Apple might have accquired GPS company Coherent Navigation to bolster Maps accuracy (Update: Apple confirms)

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Update: Apple confirmed the acquisition.

Apple, which has already acquired a variety of companies to help its Maps team, appears to have recently purchased San Francisco-based GPS company Coherent Navigation. The company was founded in 2008 by a pair of engineers from Stanford and Cornell. While Apple and Coherent Navigation have yet to confirm the acquisition, several pieces of evidence support the idea.

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Apple Maps Connect travels to five additional European countries

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Apple this week has expanded its Apple Maps Connect service to five additional regions in Europe: Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and The Netherlands. The additions were noted in an email to users of the platform and on the Apple Maps Connect website. For those unfamiliar, Apple Maps Connect allows business owners to both manage existing Apple Maps listings and add additional listings to the platform. This service works closely with the Apple Indoor Mapping feature, which aims for businesses to help Apple build up a portfolio of indoor mapping data. Apple earlier expanded Apple Maps Connect via service updates in January, February, and MarchThanks Chris!

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Ex-Apple SVP Scott Forstall is now a producer on a Broadway musical

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Less than 24 hours after a report surfaced revealing Scott Forstall began serving as an advisor to Snapchat last year, the former iOS chief has announced via his Twitter account an unrelated project: a Broadway musical.

I’m thrilled to be co-producing the Broadway musical Fun Home opening this Sunday. Bravo to the phenomenal team!

The announcement is especially notable as it marks the first time the former Apple executive has surfaced in public since his ousting at Apple under current CEO Tim Cook in late 2012. Read more

Apple adds new Apple Watch video guided tours for Phone, Siri, Maps & Music

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Update: Apple just uploaded the four new guided tours to its YouTube channel, as well. They are embedded below.

Apple has now updated its Apple Watch Guided Tour page with four more videos, featuring Phone Calls, Siri interactions, Maps navigation and the Music app. Apple began this series earlier in the month.

The videos demonstrate different Apple Watch features, such as taking a phone call, asking Siri for directions, getting navigation turn-by-turn directions in Maps or controlling music playback in the Music app.

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Google Maps for iOS adds POI quick facts, upcoming events for select venues, more

Google is packing even more useful information into the latest version of its Maps app for iOS. Google Maps 4.3.0 for iPhone and iPad adds several contextual data points to locations like nearby businesses for address searches, quick facts for notable locations, and even event information for select venues. Read more

Apple Maps adds animated 3D imagery starting w/ UK’s London Eye & Big Ben (Videos)

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Apple has added some nice new touches to Apple Maps with animated 3D imagery for iconic landmarks starting with the UK. Apple Maps now shows the correct time on Big Ben and a rotating London Eye when users viewing the landmarks access the app’s 3D Flyover feature.

Videos showing off the animated London Eye and Big Ben in Apple Maps are below: Read more

Sketchy new rumor claims Apple is planning to ‘give Tesla a run for its money’

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Remember those minivans driving around San Francisco with cameras on top that were reportedly leased to Apple? Well, a new rumor coming from Business Insider claims that the site was contacted by an Apple employee who says the company is planning a project that will “give Tesla a run for its money.”

Tesla, of course, is the electronic auto maker who is currently waging an employee-poaching war with Apple (and winning, for now). What exactly this means is unclear at the moment, but it would appear that this employee is insinuating that Apple is working on some sort of vehicle that is either electric, self-driving, or both.

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Camera-equipped minivan leased to Apple spotted in Bay Area may point to Street View-style mapping system

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Apple may be preparing a big update to its Maps application for iOS and OS X. San Francisco’s KPIX reported earlier today that a Dodge Caravan sporting an impressive array of cameras has been spotted roaming the area. The California DMV confirmed that the vehicle (seen in the photos above and below, via Claycord) was leased to Apple.

The CBS affiliate reached out to technology analyst Rob Enderle for his thoughts on what this might be. Enderle said that this van simply has too many cameras (a whopping twelve of them) to be a mapping car—though he failed to note that Google uses even more cameras on its own Street View cars.

Video and more photos after the break…

Google iOS app updated w/ Material Design, Street View integration, more

Google is rolling out a completely redesigned version of its iPhone and iPad app with its Material Design look and feel right down to the app icon.

The latest version of the search app now presents a bottom navigation bar (which can slide out of view) that presents a persistent Google button for searching for new information. The navigation bar also offers a button for quickly accessing recent search pages, something that feels similar to multitasking between apps on Android.

Also notable as part of the redesign is the optimization searching for photos has received. In the latest version of Google’s iOS app, image results now take on a full-screen, mosaic look for presenting larger results. The update also packs in deep Google Maps integration for location searches including support for Google Street View right in the app for iPhone users. You can read the full change log below: Read more

Did Apple drop Google Maps for good? Apple Maps now rolling out on iCloud.com

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Apple appears to have finally dropped Google Maps from iCloud.com, replacing it with its own in-house maps almost two years after removing Google Maps from iOS and most of its other products. Apple started slowly rolling out the feature to its iCloud beta site for select users earlier this year before pulling it, but it now seems to have replaced Google for all users of iCloud.com’s Find My iPhone feature (pictured above). Read more