Maps app Stories May 26, 2015

Maps Transit

While Apple plans to debut its own mass transit directions service for Maps in iOS 9 as soon as June, the rollout will not be as ambitious as some users may have hoped. In its first iteration, Apple’s Transit service will only support approximately a half-dozen cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe, in addition to China, according to sources…

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Maps app Stories August 11, 2014

Apple’s Maps app, introduced as part of iOS 6 in 2012, has had its fair share of technical issues and was the source of a PR crisis and the ejection of multiple long-time Apple executives. But two years later, if data from UK carrier EE is any indication, Apple Maps usage appears to be on an upward trend. Here’s the latest usage data for Apple Maps from the network:

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Maps app Stories June 22, 2014

A few days ago, 9to5Mac published some details about the elusive City Tours feature of iOS 8 found hidden in secret debug menus. It was thought that this was the only way to see the feature. However, reader Stefan Kuijt has now discovered that the feature is actually exposed publicly in the iOS 8 UI, albeit extremely hidden. This means anyone with the iOS 8 beta can try City Tours without any modification. The video above shows the current public user-interface in action, touring a selection of France’s famous landmarks.

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Maps app Stories June 19, 2014

Although deeper changes to Maps are in the works, Apple did announce a new City Tours feature for iOS 8 discreetly on one of the keynote slides. This feature is not normally available in the current iOS 8 betas, but developer Pierre Blazquez has managed to unlock the feature through a hidden debug screen and shines some light on exactly what ‘City Tours’ entails.

City Tours is best described as a guided-camera Flyover view. After activating the tour, the Maps app changes to satellite mode and begins zooming and panning to different landmarks in the city. For example, in the video, the tour rotates and pans between a couple of different cathedrals. More screenshots after the break …

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Maps app Stories February 25, 2013

iOS developer cleverly adds Street View app as a routing source for iOS 6 Maps

Recently launched on the App Store, a 99-cent app from developers FutureTap called simply “Street View” will allow users to quickly access Google Street View from seemingly within the stock iOS 6 Maps app.

When Apple first launched its new Maps app with iOS 6, one of the features many users missed was Street View’s 360-degree panoramas made popular by Google Maps. Things got a little better with the introduction of the Google Maps iOS app months later, but there are still a few reasons why many have not completely migrated away from Apple’s stock Maps app.

The biggest (at least for non-jailbroken users) is the inability to use third-party apps as the default mapping application. That means when tapping links for addresses or using Siri, for example, Apple will still default to its stock iOS 6 Maps app. Thankfully, with the 99-cent Street View app, you can continue using Maps and still be able to quickly pull up Street View without ever feeling like you’ve left the app.

Here’s how it works:

Maps app Stories December 12, 2012

TomTom iOS 6TomTom, one of Apple’s main partners providing data in its new Maps app, could be acquired by Apple, according to report from Netherlands-based Rabobank analyst Hans Slob. Bloomberg covered the analyst’s research report released early today, noting that Slob said there is a 30 percent chance Apple seeks to takeover TomTom in trying to make quicker improvements to its controversial new Maps app:

TomTom NV (TOM2), the Dutch supplier of navigation applications for Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone 5, rose the most in almost eight weeks after an analyst at Rabobank International said the U.S. company may make a takeover bid.

“TomTom needs the cash from Apple, and Apple needs the know-how of TomTom,” said Slob, who estimated Apple would pay a price of as much as 10 euros per share for the supplier. A takeover is also a “royal way out” for the Dutch company’s founders, said Slob, who has a buy recommendation on TomTom and raised his share-price estimate by 38 percent to 5 euros.

TomTom climbed 7.2-percent, an eight-week high, to 4.12 euros today, and it currently sits at a value of approximately 906 million euros ($1.18 billion USD).  expand full story

Maps app Stories November 28, 2012

Vimeo version 3.0: Vimeo is today releasing an entirely redesigned app that brings a new UI with tab-based navigation, automatic Twitter and Facebook sharing, the ability to upload videos in the background, a Watch Later queue, and much more:

-Conveniently manage and watch all your videos on the go -Quickly search for videos from the entire Vimeo catalog -Discover new and amazing videos in the Explore tab -Upload easily from your camera roll or shoot right from the app -Continue using the app while your videos upload -Share any video via Facebook, Twitter, email, iMessage, or copy the link and share how you want -Watch videos from your Vimeo feed, Watch Later queue, or your uploads or likes -Easily like videos, comment, and add to your Watch Later queue

Skype version 4.2: One of the biggest updates today goes to Skype’s iPhone app with the introduction of the support for Messenger, Hotmail and Outlook.com contacts and the ability to sign in and sync your Microsoft account. Other new features include easy account creation from within the app, the ability to edit instant messages by tapping and holding, and support for animated emotions on Retina displays. A full list of what’s new below:

-Chat with Messenger, Hotmail and Outlook.com contacts – sign in with and merge your Microsoft account. -New to Skype? Create a new account right from the app. -Tap and hold on instant messages to edit them. -Choose an emoticon while typing an instant message. -Animated emoticons for devices with a Retina display. -Edit saved phone numbers right from the dial pad. -Bug fixes.

TomTom U.S.A version 1.12: TomTom is updating the majority of its apps today with many new features, a few of which include full compatibility with iOS 6, optimizations for iPhone 5, integration with Apple Maps as a routing app on iOS 6, improved HD traffic, and more. TomTom also released variations of the update for its US & Canada, Europe, Western Europe, Brazil, Australia, UK & Ireland versions, as well as the majority of other locations it offers apps for. expand full story

Maps app Stories November 15, 2012

The previous version of Maps included on iOS 5.0.

After Apple moved to its own mapping solution on iOS, the rumors of Google bringing a standalone Maps app to the platform have intensified. The Wall Street Journal reported that the highly anticipated Google Maps for iOS may be here soon, with word that the app has entered its final testing stages and will include turn-by-turn navigation.

The WSJ wasn’t able to give specific time frame for the app’s launch, but the report added that the app has been distributed to a few members outside the bounds of Mountain View for testing before it is submitted to the iTunes App Store review team. The launch sounds like sooner than later, as several publications in the recent months have pegged the launch before the end of the year. The question is: will Apple accept it?

Google won’t be alone in the iOS Maps-alternative battleground, however. Nokia announced yesterday it plans to release its own iOS map solution under the “Here” brand. Nokia said it plans to make the app available on the iTunes App Store in the coming weeks, offering offline maps, voice-guided navigation, and information on public transport.

More on Eddy Cue’s Apple Maps involvement below

Maps app Stories November 13, 2012

While a native Google Maps iOS app has yet to hit the App Store, Nokia said today it plans to release a new free maps for iOS under the “Here” brand in the coming weeks. “Here” is a cross platform effort for mapping applications that the company described as “the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems.”

San Francisco, California – Today Nokia introduced HERE, the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. With the new brand, HERE, Nokia aims to inspire a new generation of location services and devices that make the mobile experience more personally significant for people everywhere… To further extend its location services, Nokia is launching a maps application for iOS under the HERE brand. 

The new HTML5-based iOS app, also called “Here”, will arrive in the App Store in the coming weeks and feature “offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions.” expand full story

Maps app Stories November 8, 2012

Walmart unveils two Apple deals in 2012 Black Friday sales ad

Walmart just released its annual Black Friday sales flyer for both in-store and online shopping with two Apple deals unwrapped.

The only in-store Apple deal is a second-generation iPad 16GB Wi-Fi model for $399. The tablet obviously does not come with a discounted price tag, but customers will receive a $75 bonus Walmart gift card with purchase.

The only online Apple deal is a fourth-generation iPod touch and bonus accessory kit in 16GB and 32GB capacities for $179 and $249, respectively. So, folks are only saving $20 if they purchase the 16GB flavor and zilch for the 32GB. Well, I guess the free accessory kit saves money too. Meh.

And…that’s it. Check it out:

More information on Walmart’s sales and event hours is available in the press release below. Oh, online shipping fees depend on customers’ selected options (more details here).

Maps app Stories October 12, 2012

Not the best looking pie chart—especially for Samsung.

Apple’s iPhone 5, at just three weeks old, is apparently experiencing more Web traffic than its three-month-old arch nemesis Samsung Galaxy S III.

The latest report from research firm Chitika depicts the iPhone 5 as gobbling up 56 percent of Web traffic volume, compared to the S III’s 44 percent, in just 18 days since it officially released. Chitika attributed the sudden growth to record-breaking sales numbers and 4G speeds:

Record-breaking sales numbers, along with new 4G browsing speeds which encourage data usage, are the most likely explanation for this tremendous growth. This latest shift in the mobile ecosystem is not welcome news for Samsung, which has positioned its device as a direct competitor to the iPhone 5.

Chitika has notably come under fire recently for publishing incorrect information on Google’s local search queries. The firm realized its errors after reading an article by SearchEngineLand. While today’s Web traffic report is significant—yet sudden— for Apple, lets hope Chitika has straightened out its metrics for analyzing Web data.

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Maps app Stories October 9, 2012

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A few apps updated, went on sale, or made announcements recently, and 9to5Mac gathered the most noteworthy ones in our regular round up below. Today’s selection includes app accessory news from Tim Cook’s second favorite company, Nike, a few tweaks to an official Walking Dead game in celebration of the show’s upcoming season three premiere, a fresh app for creating Passbook passes, two alternative Maps app updates, and a price drop. Per usual, we will continue to update this list throughout the day.

Check them out:

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Turkish website Sosyalmedya reported last month that Apple was putting the country’s national security at risk by releasing high-resolution imagery of sensitive locations in its new Maps app. In that case, the issue was a clear view of a maximum-security prison. A quick comparison to Google’s Maps showed the location was obscured, something Google has been known to do upon request. There were other controversial locations discovered in the Maps app (locations that Google currently blurs), and today a report from The Associated Press noted Apple is being asked by Taiwan to obscure imagery of an early-warning radar station in the country.

Taiwan is asking Apple Inc. to blur a map image of its new $1.4 billion early warning radar station… The 10-storey high radar installation built with U.S. technology is expected to go online later this year. It’s near the Hsinchu Airbase in northern Taiwan.

According to the report, Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesperson David Lo said, “Apple should follow its rival Google in using only low-resolution satellite pictures.” The Associated Press said the facility is located near Hsinchu Airbase in northern Taiwan and will be used for monitoring aircrafts, missiles, and determining speed for targets “coming from as far as western China.”

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Maps app Stories September 28, 2012

Apple launches alternative Maps app section in App Store

Apple is prominently spotlighting alternative solutions to the new Maps app on the App Store.

The promotion of third-party apps is in conjunction with CEO Tim Cook’s open letter from this morning that apologized to iOS customers for the company’s less-than-perfect Maps offering. Apple further detailed on its website today how to add Google and Nokia maps website icons to an iOS 6 device’s Home screen.

[tweet https://twitter.com/djmexi/status/251729875046645760]

In related news, Reuters created an infographic recently that illustrates a side-by-side comparison of the key features available on mobile map apps from Google and Apple’s iOS in 27 countries (as seen below):

Maps app Stories September 25, 2012

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Apple hired Sally Cole as the Director of Employee Communications last month. Cole comes from cross-town rival Google, where she served as the Director of Internal Communications for almost six years. The Scarsdale native has a B.A. in history from Yale and a J.D./M.B.A. from nearby Stanford University, from which both companies hire liberally.

As someone intimately familiar with Internal Communications at Google, Cole’s experience could prove very valuable at Apple. Apple is rumored to be after Google Maps employees, for instance, where Cole’s Rolodex could prove “fruitful.” Google and Apple previously had a “no-poach” agreement instituted by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Clearly, that is no longer the case.

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Maps app Stories September 18, 2012

image via reddit

When Apple demoed its new in-house, iOS 6 Maps app at WWDC in June, replacing the Google Maps backend used in previous versions of iOS, first impressions from many users raised concerns over whether it could compete with the old Google Maps iOS app they were used to. Apple has been steadily improving the Maps app with each beta release, including recently expanding coverage of 3D maps to new cities, but its limitations could be a source of frustration for upgrading iPhone owners in the coming weeks.

Macworld’s Jason Snell raised some alarm bells this week at the post-iPhone 5 roundtable (11:00 in), saying Maps did not feel ready and he was concerned that long-time Maps users would be disappointed. We received lots of comments and forum posts from users who refuse to update until transit times were included.

[tweet https://twitter.com/jon889/status/248130694319046657]

The move was not surprisingly viewed as a strategic one for Apple, and fueled by powerful technologies from PlacebaseC3 Technologies, and Poly9 acquisitions, but will Apple be able to smooth iOS 6 Maps app enough to keep users happy when they update to iOS 6 and make the transition from Google Maps later this month? expand full story

Maps app Stories July 9, 2012

Since Apple unveiled its new in-house Maps app for iOS 6, we have discovered bits and pieces of what it has planned for the final release this fall. Apple already showed off Yelp integration, turn-by-turn navigation, and the 3D flyover mode, and it appears to be utilizing a new Avenir typeface. Today, Techpp posted a code dump from the iOS 6 maps app courtesy of developer Cody Cooper who found some interesting evidence of potential Maps integration with OS X:

Our developer friend, Cody Cooper has now stumbled upon an interesting code dump in iOS 6 maps application which hints at the possibility of Apple Maps coming to Macs in the near future.

During his routine investigation of Maps app, Cody found some interesting bits in the file altitude_manifest.xml

In this XML file, there is a reference to a set of Intel based graphics chipsets for which certain features like Shading are disabled.

While this is not solid proof that Apple is working on a full-blown Maps app for Mac, it could hint at possible integration between core apps and features in Mountain Lion and Maps on iOS. For example, location features in iPhoto could integrate with iOS Maps. As noted in the report, the code refers to shading being disabled for older Intel chipsets, which Cooper guessed could likely not support the app’s shading features. We will do some digging, and then update you if we discover anything new. The public release of Mountain Lion is scheduled for this month. expand full story

Maps app Stories June 12, 2012

Will your iOS device get all of the new iOS 6 features? Here’s the official word

As iOS 6 officially unveiled yesterday, we noted a few of the features—such as Siri and FaceTime—would only be available on certain iOS devices. Ars Technica noticed the 3D flyover feature of Apple’s new Maps app would only be available to A5-powered iOS devices. In case you were wondering exactly which iOS 6 features will be compatible with your iOS device, Apple published a list (below) on its iOS 6 preview page that details all of the limitations for specific features:

-Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation will be available only on iPhone 4S and iPad 2 or later. Cellular data charges may apply.

-Siri will be available only on iPhone 4S and iPad (3rd generation) and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.

-Shared Photo Streams requires iOS 6 on iPhone 4 or later or iPad 2 or later, or a Mac computer with OS X Mountain Lion. An up-to-date browser is required for accessing shared photo streams on the web.

-FaceTime over a cellular network requires iPhone 4S or iPad (3rd generation) with cellular data capability. Carrier data charges may apply. FaceTime is not available in all countries.

-VIP list and VIP and Flagged smart mailboxes will be available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later.

-Offline Reading List will be available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later.

-Made for iPhone hearing aids require iPhone 4S.

-Find My Friends and Find My iPhone enable you to locate iOS devices only when they are on and connected to a registered Wi-Fi network or have an active data plan. Not available in all areas.

Maps app Stories June 11, 2012

Apple partnering with TomTom for new Maps app

Update May 12: TomTom confirmed to Reuters today that “its global agreement with Apple covers maps and related information” but declined to comment further on the specifics of the deal.

Engadget just posted the screenshots above by an anonymous tipster who claimed to be running an iOS 6 developer beta on the iPhone 4S. It appears Apple is at least getting some data for its new Maps app through a partnership with TomTom. As noted in the report, the screenshots list “others” next to TomTom, but it does not list specific companies. It is unclear exactly what data or service of TomTom’s Apple is using. As pointed out by The Verge, Apple is crediting OpenStreetMap for data in the new app. The company also used OpenStreetMap in the past for iPhoto.

Maps app Stories June 4, 2012

Most of you know what is coming in iOS 6 Maps. However, in a long post this evening, which unfortunately does not include much that we haven’t seen or heard, the Wall Street Journal chronicles the last five years that have saw Google and Apple going from best of corporate friends by sharing board members and agreeing to no-poach agreements to sworn enemies spending a great deal of time disparaging each other in and out of courts. The latest breakup in the relationship, and probably the biggest holdout, is Maps. Apple has used Google’s Maps since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 when Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt went on stage to introduce the new software (above).

Later this year, Apple is planning to oust Google Maps as the preloaded, default maps app from the iPhone and iPad and release a new mapping app that runs Apple’s own technology, according to current and former Apple employees. Apple could preview the new software, which will be part of its next mobile-operating system, as soon as next week at its annual developer conference in San Francisco, one person familiar with the plans says. Apple plans to encourage app developers to embed its maps inside their applications like social-networking and search services. Technology blog 9to5Mac earlier reported that Apple will launch its own maps app in its next mobile-operating system.

Apple purchased Placebase, C3 Technologies, and Poly9 over the past three years to ramp up its mapping capabilities faster. In a rare description of something we have not heard, a use case is explained for the new calendar-integrated mapping system:

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Maps app Stories May 31, 2012

We have already laid out a lot about the next iPhone. Its 1,136-by-640 display. Its totally redesigned back plate and unibody construction. But what will it have under the hood? 9to5Mac delved deep into a beta version of iOS 6 to find out… expand full story

Maps app Stories May 29, 2012

This is an almost entirely correct render of the new Maps app.

BGR just posted a few images of Apple’s iOS 6 Maps app with 3D mapping that 9to5Mac first revealed earlier this month.

Their “trusted source” released these screenshots, which give subsequent validity to the claims that Apple has worked on an in-house mapping solution for years now. Apple is reportedly testing its 3D technology in build 10A314 of iOS 6. The renderings are largely accurate, from what we heard, but the bookmarks icon does not show the border that we saw. Also, the 3D icon only exists on the iPad version (it is actually below the curl on the iPhone, because it is too easy to accidentally press.) We hope to have our own screenshots shortly.

Our sources were the first to indicate Apple will drop Google Maps in iOS for a new Maps app with an Apple backend. 9to5Mac further said the app’s design would be very similar to Google Maps on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but a “much cleaner, faster, and more reliable experience.” Today’s report adds validity to our initial reporting, while speculating the app’s color scheme will be more silver than blue.

Many versions of iOS 6 have floated around Apple’s campus recently, which suggest the company is on track for a mid-June unveiling at this year’s World Wide Developers Conference. The new Maps app and its 3D mode is likely a major feature of iOS 6, but we previously noted that anyone anticipating major home screen changes or Android-style widgets will find disappointment. However, Apple is set to unveil an upgraded iCloud service at WWDC with new sharing and commenting features for photos and video syncing capabilities that resemble the Video Stream feature we told you about last year.

Another screenshot follows:

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Maps app Stories May 15, 2012

Last week, we revealed Apple’s decision to drop Google Maps in iOS 6 in exchange for its own in-house solution branded simply as “Maps.” At the time, we told you many versions of iOS 6 have been floating around Apple’s campus, which indicated Apple is likely on track for a mid-June unveiling at this year’s World Wide Developers Conference. Shortly after, references to an upcoming iOS 6 beta were found in the code strings of the iCloud.com beta website.

One app developer informed us today that it has recently noticed users running iOS 6 using its app. The developer observed the “iOS6” string when collecting the OS version from analytics software. It has not been able to trace exactly when the iOS 6 users started appearing, but it was sometime over the past week. Other developers that we spoke to began seeing hits in late April. There is a good chance that this means Apple is amidst iOS 6 compatibility testing with higher-profile applications from the App Store. The process of next-generation versions of iOS appearing in developer usage logs occurred last year too.

Although Apple’s new Maps app and its 3D mode will likely be pushed as a major feature of iOS 6, we noted previously that anyone anticipating major home screen changes or Android-style widgets will likely be disappointed. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported Apple was preparing to unveil an upgrade to iCloud at WWDC that would include new sharing and commenting features for photos, as well as video syncing capabilities that will likely be the Video Stream feature we told you about last year. expand full story

Maps app Stories May 27, 2011

From 9to5Google:

With Apple’s purchase of two mapping companies over the last couple of years – Poly9 and Placebase – many have speculated that iOS 5 will finally be the iOS release where Apple moves from a Google Maps backend to an Apple backend. Multiple job postings on Apple’s official site backed up this speculation and even Apple promised some under-the-hood maps tweeks for their next-generation iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch operating system.

Now, sources have told 9to5Google that although Apple is working to improve the iOS Maps application, iOS 5 will not bring an Apple developed maps service and Google Maps is still in. Besides Apple’s purchase of both Placebase and Poly9, some speculated that Apple is building their own maps service to either compete with Google or step away from their input into iOS.

Apple began the process of distancing themselves from Google when former Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned over “conflict of interest.” Apple has also added Microsoft’s Bing as a Safari search option and will be competing with Google head-to-head with their upcoming cloud-based music service. Those who enjoy Google Maps should not fear iOS 5, though, and hopefully Apple is working to implement turn-by-turn directions or something else to improve their maps application without changing the backend.

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