Apple exec reveals how your iPhone data is used to improve Maps

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Hair Force One wants everyone to become a coder.
Craig Federighi oversees the development of both iOS and macOS.
Photo: Apple

In a new wide ranging interview, Apple’s senior VP of internet software and services, Eddy Cue, revealed how the company fixed a lot of mistakes it made with the launch of Apple Maps in 2012 by utilizing data from the hundreds of millions of iPhones around the globe.

Cue and Apple software chief Craig Federighi sat down to talk about the troubles with Apple Maps, the difference between working for Tim Cook and Steve Jobs, Apple’s competition with Facebook and Amazon and learning from failure.

Thank Apple Maps disaster for public betas of iOS and macOS

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TomTom will continue to power Apple Maps.
Apple Maps was a turning point for Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s decision to open up macOS and iOS for public betas was inspired by the company’s horrible experience with the iOS Maps debacle in 2012, according to a new interview with Tim Cook, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi.

One of the most notorious botches in Apple history, Maps’ problems ranged from depicting horribly warped landscapes to directing folks visiting the airport in Fairbanks, Alaska, to drive across one of the taxiways. And it changed Apple’s culture in the process.

All the changes Apple made in iOS 10 beta 2

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apple music app
There's a lot to love in the new iOS 10 beta.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s second beta for iOS 10 is jam-packed with new features and changes to go along with the big batch of bug fixes.

More than 50 changes have been discovered by developers, affecting everything from Apple Music to widgets. A lot of the changes are very minor UI tweaks that would probably go unnoticed by many users, but Apple has also added some huge additions to the Home button, Messages, Notification Center and more.

Here’s what’s new in iOS 10 beta 2:

Mystery vans likely making 3-D road maps for Apple’s self-driving car

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Mysterious unmarked vans roaming the Bay Area have been linked to Apple, and are likely generating detailed 3D maps for robot cars.
Mysterious unmarked vans roaming the Bay Area have been linked to Apple, and are likely generating detailed 3D maps for robot cars.
Photo: Business Insider/Stephen Smith

Some new data-gathering vehicles are roaming the streets of San Francisco. They’re unmarked, but are suspected to be Apple’s. They are laden with sensors, but what kind of data are they gathering, and what for?

Experts contacted by Cult of Mac say the mystery vans are next-generation mapping vehicles capable of capturing VR-style, 360-degree street photos. Plus, the vans use Lidar to create extraordinarily precise “point clouds,” a prerequisite for self-driving cars. Mesh those two databases together and you’ve laid the groundwork for an autonomous vehicle’s navigation system.

iOS 10 will help you save money on the road

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Apple Maps has some new tricks in iOS 10.
Apple Maps has some new tricks in iOS 10.
Photo: Apple

Drivers tired of forking over cash to toll booths on the morning commute are getting some welcomed relief thanks to iOS 10.

Apple Maps didn’t get much stage time during the WWDC 2016 keynote earlier this week, but along with adding proactive route suggestions, Apple has also made it super easy to avoid any toll booths that might be on your route.