Now it’s taken that technology one step further in an effort to win the mapping war versus Google: Apple Maps is going real-time.
Thanks to a new update, London’s Big Ben clock tower will now show the real time, while the iconic London Eye will rotate. Those are the only real-time updates we’ve spotted so far, but Apple is reportedly looking to add more moving elements to cities over the following year.
What are the LIDAR units doing on this Apple van? Photo: AppleInsider video
The mysterious Apple minivans roaming the roads in California, Florida and elsewhere are generally assumed to be self-driving cars, but they are not. They are almost undoubtedly collecting data for maps.
Apple’s Aral Sea on left, NASA latest image on right. Photo: Cult of Mac
You may have never heard of the Aral Sea, even though it was the fourth largest lake in the world as recently as the 1960’s.
The once-gigantic body of water which rests on the border of Uzbekistan has shrunk to less than 10% of its former size over the last half century. It’s been dubbed one of the worst environmental disasters ever, but looking at Apple Maps you’d never even know the Russians drained the mighty lake dry, destroyed its robust fishing industry, and left behind a wasteland of salt, pollution, and toxic dust storms.
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
The Apple rumor mill is going into hibernation mode over the winter, but that’s not stopping a few juicy bits from leaking out. This week we’ve got rumors of Apple Maps coming to the web, the giant iPad facing production problems, and the first batch of Apple Watch orders.
Step up to our crystal ball and see which rumors are likely to come true in 2015.
The Verdict: Possibly. This rumor is coming from the Best Apple Analyst in the World (Ming-Chi Kuo), so we’re keen to believe him. If Apple’s really trying to make its iPad Pro as thin as the iPhone 6, there’s bound to be a few problems along the way. We still expect to see it in the first half of 2015.
The Rumor: Apple’s working on a web-based version of Apple Maps.
The Verdict: We believe it. Apple job postings hint that it’s working on an update. As bad as the rollout of Apple Maps has a few years ago, the service has gotten considerably better over the last year, and a dedicated web version would help get more people using Apple Maps. Apple launched the Maps Connect tool last month. A web-version must be coming soon.
The Verdict: Looks like it's almost a done deal. Execs say details have to be worked out, but Alibaba is the hottest company in China right now, so the pairing would be perfect. Alipay support for Apple Pay on day one would be huge in China.
The Verdict: Too early to tell. Apple Watch isn’t supposed to go on sale until the Spring, but it’s time to start getting units rolling out of the factory. If Apple’s already making 40 million, it must be pretty confident it’s got a new hit product on its wrists.
It might not quite be Harry Potter’s Marauder’s Map, but it’s getting there. Photo: Universal Studios Orlando
Apple is attempting to push its Apple Maps software to the next level, courtesy of indoor mapping capabilities, according to a new patent application uncovered by Cult of Mac today.
Filed in April this year, the application describes a method of seamlessly transitioning from a map displaying exterior elements like roads and buildings to one that shows indoor elements, like stores and restaurants.
This technology is designed to work with iBeacons, Apple’s Bluetooth Low Energy emitters designed to make iDevices location aware indoors.
When Apple Maps disastrously launched in 2012 even the most faithful of Apple fanboys thought it’d never be competitive against the obviously superior Google Maps. But just two years after it announced its own mapping platform, Apple is now dominating Google in mapping traffic on 4G, at least on one U.K. carrier.