Dublin, the largest and capital city of Ireland, may finally be about to get its first Apple Store.
Apple is reportedly in talks with a developer group called the Natrium consortium to open up a flagship retail store in Dublin’s city center — possibly based on the ground floor of an iconic former department store, bought last year for €29 million ($33 million).
When Apple launched its new Maps app with iOS 6 last September, one of its headline features, Flyover, only supported a handful of big cities. But the Cupertino company has been hard at work in the background to extend its reach, adding support for additional locations all over the world.
In the past few months, Apple has brought Flyover to an additional 16 cities, plus extended its coverage in 14 of the cities already supported.
iOS 6’s Maps is the biggest criticism of Apple’s new mobile operating system. In short, it’s clearly years behind Google Maps, which previously powered Maps in past versions of iOS. Most of the time, complaints about Apple’s new Maps accuse the latter of being under-developed and unreliable compared to Google Maps, but the Irish government has a different concern: they are worried that iOS 6 Maps will result in pilots crashing their airplanes directly into a park.
Dublin launched a bike sharing scheme on Sept. 15. Sponsored by French ad giant JC Decaux, locals can pick up the bikes around town, then leave them at one of 40 stations. The first half hour is free.
The trouble? Firm Fusio thought it’d be nice to have an iPhone app, available gratis on iTunes, telling would-be cyclists which stations had bikes available and how many. The Dublinbikes app used a mashup of Google Maps and data from the official Dublinbikes Website.
The story sounds depressingly similar to StationStops, the app that ran into trouble with NY transport authorities by publishing available public schedules.
It may not be over yet, however: politician Paschal Donohoe, a declared iPhone user, called on Dublin City Council to intervene.
“The new bike scheme will depend on bikes being available, when and where people need them,” he said in a statement on his website. “A new application for iPhones provided this up-to-the minute information on where the bikes were located.”
“We should be encouraging innovation for the sake of the economy, not stamping it out.” In the meantime, there are already a couple of mobile web alternatives to the killed bike sharing app.