TomTom Stories June 10, 2015

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We exclusively revealed last month that Apple is developing its own mapping database, complete with 3D Street View imagery – and the company has now officially confirmed this on a new webpage.

Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps. Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates.

We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication.

We first speculated back in February that this was the likely reason for the camera-equipped minivans leased by Apple, at a time when many were suggesting they were test beds for self-driving cars.

If you fancy trying to photobomb one of Apple’s camera vans, the company has posted a list of the locations they will be visiting later this month …  expand full story

TomTom Stories June 5, 2015

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Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is about to kick off. On Monday, June 8th, company executives will take the stage at San Francisco’s Moscone Center to provide their annual roadmap for Apple’s software, services, and devices.

Traditionally, Apple has used the conference to introduce major upgrades to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system iOS, as well as the Mac operating system OS X, along with new services. Of course, 2015 will be no different. Apple has been preparing a new version of iOS 9 codenamed “Monarch,” a release of OS X 10.11 codenamed “Gala,” a new streaming Apple Music service based on Beats Music, and updates for the Apple Watch.

Over the last several years, we have provided advance reports on the lion’s share of announcements that will be made at WWDC, as well as a comprehensive roundup ahead of the event. Read on for our roundup of what’s coming, along with fresh new details not found in our earlier reports.

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TomTom Stories May 29, 2015

Apple Van

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…

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TomTom Stories May 19, 2015

maps

TomTom has announced that Apple will continue sourcing data from the company as one data provider for its Maps app on iOS devices and Mac: expand full story

TomTom Stories February 7, 2013

Rabbit: Launching today in closed beta, Rabbit is a new video chat and content sharing app– initially available exclusively for Mac– that has been getting a lot of attention. The app lets you chat with an unlimited number of people, create and customize chats, as well as watch movies, listen to music, and share content in chats in real-time. If you are a pre-teen who hasn’t heard of Google Hangouts, you might want to check this out.

Rabbit is kind of like a virtual living room. It runs in the background on your computer just like Skype, so you can always find your friends online and invite them to watch a movie or listen to music at any time. You can share this content directly from your computer, or you can use the Rabbit “SharePad” of integrated content sites to instantly launch TV shows, videos and music you want to watch and listen to with your friends.

Foursquare version 5.4.3: Foursquare gets an update today that brings improvements to check-in notification settings including an “Always” option to get notifications for all check-ins, as well as new “Nearby” and “Off” settings to apply to specific users.

✓ Choose “ALWAYS” for close friends and family you always want to keep up with. You’ll get notifications for all their check-ins, no matter where they are in the world. ✓ Choose “NEARBY” for friends you’d like to hear about from time to time. We’ll only notify you when they’re close by. ✓ Choose “OFF” for those acquaintances you don’t really want updates from. And that bike messenger friend who checks in at every spot on his route.

TomTom version 1.13: TomTom updated the majority of its iOS navigation apps today. On top of the most up to date map data, users can also now backup and restore settings and stored destinations from iCloud. With today’s update TomTom is also providing a free 30 day trial to its HD traffic subscription. In addition, the app now includes compatibility for iPad mini.

Borderlands Legends version 1.1.0: 2K’s Borderlands Legends (and the HD iPad version) is updated today with new features including a new sniper mode, new enemy and mini boss types, night versions of the Wasteland map, iPhone 5 & Game Center support, new Eridian Weapons, and more. expand full story

TomTom 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

TomTom 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

TomTom Stories July 5, 2012

iTunes Store launch in Hong Kong plagued with translation issues

Apple officially opened up the iTunes Store and iTunes Match in 12 new Asian countries late last month, bringing the total to 155 countries worldwide. Perhaps the most notable addition was Hong Kong. Apple said at the time that the local stores would include “an incredible selection of local and international music from all the major labels and thousands of independent labels,” but many Chinese users are disgruntled with the method Apple is using to translate the titles and descriptions of some content in the store. The Wall Street Journal published a story today highlighting the problem with translations in the Hong Kong store:

On accessing the iTunes store for the first time, some Hong Kong users were irritated to find that the store was listing a number of song titles by the city’s popstars in Mandarin pinyin, a system that transcribes Chinese characters into phonetic Latin script, instead of displaying titles transliterated for the Cantonese language, which is spoken by the majority of the population.

For example, the popular Cantonese pop song titled “Autumn Wind, Autumn Rain” would be written and pronounced as qiu feng qiu yu using Mandarin pinyin. Though there is no broadly accepted official system for rendering Cantonese using the Roman alphabet, a transliteration for Cantonese speakers would be closer to cou feng cou yu.

“Those are CANTO pop [songs],” wrote one Hong Kong-based user on Twitter. “Use cantonese [sic] phonetics.”

In other Chinese Apple news, Bloomberg reported today that Apple is using China-based AutoNavi to power its new iOS 6 Maps app in China. Apple is already confirmed to be using TomTom and various other sources for map data in the United States and elsewhere, and Bloomberg noted today that AutoNavi signed a joint venture with TomTom in China in 2010.

TomTom Stories June 12, 2012

Update: A reader just sent the images above that show Apple’s maps are identical to Microsoft’s for certain locations.

Evidence surfaced yesterday that showed Apple was crediting TomTom, in addition to OpenStreetMap, for at least some of the data used in its new in-house Maps app. Today, a report from TechPP (via TheNextWeb) pointed to proof that Apple’s Maps data appears to come from Microsoft too:

our friend, Cody Cooper, a New Zealand based developer, found something more interesting. While playing with Apple Maps on iOS 6 beta, Cody found that some of the Maps images had Microsoft attribution. Check out the image below showing the response headers with attributions to Microsoft Corp 2012. Click on the image for a better view.

We have not been able to confirm the evidence, so we are marking this as unconfirmed for now. Apple’s full list of acknowledgments for its Maps app can be viewed here, while the full-sized image of the evidence is below:

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TomTom 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.

TomTom Stories January 11, 2012

TomTom unveiled a new version of its iPhone and iPad app at CES 2012 that utilizes data from social networks like Facebook and Twitter to provide users with enhanced navigation to friends, places, and events.

The press release does not provide much information on exactly how TomTom is using social network data, but the company claimed it would be a source for turn-by-turn navigation features baked into the current iOS apps. TomTom will obviously have to avoid user-generated data that might be inaccurate, but it is unclear what specific data the app will access. From the screenshots above, it appears you will be able to easily navigate to friends who have recently checked-in (with their location) to a social network.

The new app, version v1.10, will also allow you to share your destination and ETA through email, SMS, Twitter, or Facebook. Managing Director Consumer at TomTom Corinne Vigreux explained:

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TomTom Stories November 25, 2011

We already know about all of the excellent Black Friday deals popping up in our live price guide— like an 11” MacBook Air for $849.99, and this 13″ 2.4GHz MacBook Pro for $1050. In addition to all of the great hardware on sale, almost all of the biggest iOS app publishers are running Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions too. There’s also some great Mac App Store apps on sale. We’ve compiled the best of the best… expand full story

TomTom Stories October 21, 2011

TomTom turn-by-turn gets optimized for iPad

If you are the type that likes a 10″ display for driving navigation, TomTom just updated its $59.99 iOS turn-by-turn navigation app to be universal and optimized for the iPad. You’ll of course want to have a 3G version of the iPad/iPad 2 or be tethered through an iPhone that can share GPS. TomTom also […]

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