Apple Maps To Offer Choice Of Google, Others For Directions

Apple Maps with Third Party apps According to Cult of Mac, Apple is doing something very interesting with iOS 8 Maps. It's giving people a choice of apps to use for directions. A GIF in the article shows that once a destination is located users will be able to choose directions from, presumably, any mapping-related app installed on their iPhones: Starting in iOS 8, users will be able to run a search for locations in Apple Maps and use either Apple’s own driving and walking directions, or switch directly to another app already installed on your device via a simplified menu.  It also shows users other mapping apps ava [...]

Report: Apple Accelerating Crowdsourced Maps Improvements

apple-maps-featured According to a couple of reports (Reddit and MacRumors), Apple has stepped up the pace of map-data corrections and improvements. The MacRumors report, from a couple of weeks ago, says that changes are being implemented weekly. The Reddit thread says they're happening nightly -- at 3 a.m. Eastern: Over the past month, Maps were being updated once a week (every Friday) for me, but now, that has improved further. Over the past few days, I've noticed an update occur every single day at 3 a.m. Eastern. At exactly 3am, Apple pushes out new data and corrects many of the problems that users had p [...]

Virtual 3D “City Tours” Coming To Apple Maps In iOS 8

apple-maps-featured One of the features in the forthcoming iOS 8 is apparently called City Tours. These are animated flyovers of various cities in Apple Maps. Mostly a novelty, they'll take users on a 3D tour of key buildings and landmarks in a city. Google Maps/Earth have allowed developers to create animated virtual tours of places since 2009. According to 9to5Mac iOS 8 City Tours currently exist for Rome, Stockholm, Barcelona, New York, Paris, Glasgow, Cape Town (South Africa), Perth (Australia), Bordeaux and San Francisco. Hopefully we'll see more "utilitarian" improvements to Apple Maps in the ne [...]

Better Data, Public Transit Coming To Apple Maps In iOS 8

apple-maps-featured According to unnamed sources cited by 9to5mac, Apple's forthcoming iOS 8 will see a number of improvements to its mapping product across platforms. The site says the next Apple mobile OS will offer: Better and more complete points of interest and business data Public transit information and directions (rolling out first to major US cities) Much of the discussion in the article is about subtle changes to the Apple Maps UI or functionality improvements coming with the new OS. Further out, says the report, are indoor maps and augmented reality:  "Apple has also begun work on augmented [...]

The Local Marketer’s Guide To Apple Maps for iOS7

No Results Found Apple Maps [caption id="attachment_173073" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo courtesy of the Robert Mapplethorpe Shotland Estate[/caption] While the launch of iOS7 has received a ton of press and blogger nitpicking about every last detail, little has been said about how the new version of Apple Maps affects local marketers. I feel like most marketers are still ignoring Apple Maps because it got a lot of Apple Maps Sucks-type press a year ago. Well, I like to say that even if you think Apple Maps suck, you know what doesn't suck? The fact that iOS is well on its way to one billion installations. [...]

Apple Maps Sends Two Users Driving Across An Airport Runway

apple-maps-featured Despite some observers saying that Apple Maps on iOS 7 is better than Google Maps, that's definitely not the case for anyone trying to drive to the Fairbanks (Alaska) airport recently. As the Alaska Dispatch newspaper reported on Tuesday, Apple Maps has sent out-of-towners driving dangerously across an airport runway at least two times in the past three weeks. The turn-by-turn directions were specific, using the access route that general aviation pilots use to the East Ramp, which is on the other side of the runway from the main airport terminal. The map directions concluded by tell [...]

Apple “Embarks” On Another Mapping Acquisition

Embark Last month Apple bought Locationary and Hop Stop. The point of the first was to improve the overall quality of local data for Apple Maps and the second was for mass transit information. Apparently, according to former WSJ reporter Jessica Lessin, Apple has made another buy for transit purposes. The company has acquired app developer Embark. The company offers free public transit apps for 10 US cities -- though its ambitions are global. Interestingly BMW was one of its investors. Key features of Embark apps are: Step-by-step trip planning Offline functionality Notifications (e.g. [...]

Apple Beefing Up Maps With Crowdsourcing, “Ground Truth” Hires

apple-maps-featured Apple Insider points out that Apple is hiring for dozens of positions in its mapping group. There are more than 80 positions that respond to the keywords "Apple Maps" on the company's jobs site. Among a range of other positions, Apple has been seeking "ground truth local experts" for various cities. Here's one such job description: In addition, as the blog explains, iOS 7 invites users to "help improve maps" by enabling a new feature called "frequent locations." Frequent locations will give Apple another (anonymous) method to verify business locations and other destinations by tracki [...]

HopStop Bought By Apple For Public Transit Data

apple-maps-square Hot on the heels of its acquisition of Locationary, Apple has bought transit site and cityguide HopStop for an undisclosed amount. It's an ugly site that has very useful public transit schedules, maps and related information. The value of the data to Apple Maps is obvious. HopStop launched in 2005 and evolved over the years into a local search site or cityguide to broaden its appeal. The core data and use case surround transit information, however. Like Waze (recently acquired by Google), HopStop also offers crowdsourced and real-time information on traffic, transit and delays. [...]

Will Mobile Apps Be Google’s Undoing? (Hint: No)

mobile-apps-search-featured The New York Times offers an interesting story about Google and the competitive landscape of mobile. The headline is "As Web Search Goes Mobile, Competitors Chip at Google’s Lead." The central idea of the article is that while Google is used on the PC equally to discover information and to navigate to specific sites, on smartphones people go directly to apps such as Amazon, Kayak or Yelp. As a basic matter, that's accurate. However, quoting Danny Sullivan, the story also acknowledges that there's still a great deal of mobile search activity, which is dominated by Google. Indeed, accordin [...]

Apple Hiring ‘Ground Truth’ Managers To Improve Maps

apple-maps-featured If job listings are any indication, Apple remains committed to improving its iOS Maps app. As the iDownload Blog spotted, Apple currently has seven job listings for what's called a "Maps Ground Truth Manager." The positions are based around the world -- U.S., Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Middle East/Africa. The job description explains that these Ground Truth Managers will be responsible for improving and ensuring the accuracy of Apple Maps. The Maps team is searching for a manager for the team responsible for regional map quality and ground trut [...]

Apple Buys Indoor Location Company, What’s It Up To?

apple-maps-featured This weekend the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had paid roughly $20 million for a company called WifiSLAM. The company was an early stage startup that had raised roughly $1 million in angel investment. It appears to have had some ambitious plans, according to a company description on AngelList: We are building the next generation of location-based mobile apps that, for the first time, engage with users at the scale that personal interaction actually takes place. Applications range from step-by-step indoor navigation, to product-level retail customer engagement, to proximity-based [...]

Rumor: Apple May Buy Crowdsourced Mapping App Waze

Waze logo Is Apple considering buying Waze? That's what TechCrunch is saying by way of the rumor mill. If you don't already know, Waze is a crowd-sourced mapping and traffic app. But it's also a social community; it's not that far removed from Foursquare. That's what makes any potential acquisition here really interesting. There are many local data providers or vendors that could help improve Apple's local database of places. But if it were to acquire Waze, which has a strong international following as well, it would get a social network and not merely a database. If you squint a little an Appl [...]

Study Hints At Long-Term Siri Threat To Google In Mobile

siri-featured Apple Insider is reporting, based on a study by investment firm Piper Jaffray, that Siri today (iOS 6) relies on Google considerably less than it did in iOS 5. That's partly a result of the switch from Google's local data in Maps to Apple's own mapping data. However another part of the change is probably the addition of more non-Google sources of structured data to support Siri. In Piper Jaffray's previous study it found that Siri used Google or Google data to answer 60 percent of queries. Now that number has dropped to 30 percent. The chart below (via Apple Insider) illustrates who "w [...]

Apple Vs. Google Maps: Reality Check Time

apple-google-featured Google Maps new iOS app is terrific -- although initiating navigation isn't as intuitive as it might be. But I've found that Apple Maps is as good or nearly as good, at least in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have not had a chance to test maps apps side-by-side in other regions. Here's what can be said from my experience of the comparison this past weekend: Google Maps offers more local data on the map when doing a category search. It also does a somewhat better job with the "local search" experience overall when the map is the entry point Google's local business profile pages offe [...]

Google Maps Is Back On The iPhone: Native iOS App Released

google-maps-ios-iphone-featured Google has released its long-awaited map app for the iPhone. And it delivers all the expected features: voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, traffic, public transit, Street View and so on. It's better than Google Maps for Android because it has been built or rebuilt "from the ground up" and didn't grow by accretion. The bottom line: it delivers. Yet it's also not 100 percent satisfying (at least in my initial test). I'm not sure what I was expecting. It's not integrated with Siri. You can't say "I need directions to San Francisco" and be taken to Google Maps, as you once could. Instea [...]

Australian Police Tell iPhone Users Not To Rely On Apple Maps

apple-maps-featured This is a bit of bad PR: Macrumors reports that Australian police have warned iPhone owners in that country not to rely upon Apple Maps due to "safety concerns." According to a local police statement: Mildura Police are urging motorists to be careful when relying on the mapping system on the Apple i-phones operating on the iOS 6 system after a number of motorists were directed off the beaten track in recent weeks.  Local Police have been called to assist distressed motorists who have become stranded within the Murray-Sunset National Park after following directions on their Apple i-phone [...]

Seeking Maps Fix, Apple Fires Mapping Team Manager And Asks Outsiders For Help

Apple maps According to a widely cited Bloomberg report published earlier today Apple has fired another executive in connection with its mapping woes. The article says that Eddie Cue, who's now running the software division, ousted Richard Williamson who managed the mapping team. The same report says that "Cue . . .  is seeking advice from outside mapping-technology experts and prodding digital maps provider TomTom NV to fix landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple." Bloomberg reports that "Cue wants to install a new leadership team for the group." Anecdotally I've noticed improvements in [...]

Google Maps App A Step Closer To iTunes Submission

Google maps icon larger When Apple announced, in June, that it was introducing its own maps and ousting Google from its default position on the iPhone, that was perhaps the best thing that could have happened to Mountain View. Apple subsequently introduced an elegant-looking but flawed mapping app as part of iOS 6. While Apple and its mapping mistakes have helped to open up the market somewhat, and brought new attention to third party mapping apps such as Waze, Scout and others, they have also created an opening for Google to fully monetize local search on the iPhone in ways that were not equally possible before. [...]

Trying To Get There From Here: Nokia And Mapquest Launch New Maps Products

Nokia here Globally there are arguably four main digital mapping competitors: Google, Apple, Microsoft and Nokia. Google is the clear leader. However Nokia is making a renewed bid to challenge Google's mapping supremacy with a rebranded platform "Here," new APIs, a Google Street View-like offering, augmented reality and new apps for third party smartphone operating systems. Apple is busy trying to fix its recently launched maps and seems to be making some progress. Bing, after aggressively investing in maps for several years, now seems to be outsourcing key parts of its mapping infrastructure to Nokia [...]

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