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.
Apple Maps crashed and burned coming off the runway in iOS 6, but new additions in iOS 8 beta 3 show Apple’s had a change of heart, and is even making it easier for Apple Maps users to jump to Google Maps and other services thanks to some new UI tweaks.
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.
Two years after Apple replaced Google with its own Maps app in iOS 6, the last remnant of Google Maps in Apple’s ecosystem is getting the boot. Apple has begun switching to its own mapping service for the Find My iPhone web app on iCloud.com.
The change isn’t visible for everyone yet, but it can be seen from the beta version of iCloud.com where Apple tests upcoming features.
In the interest of saving you time (and money) when you travel on apps that won’t help you get from point A to point B, we’ve sounded out dozens of road warriors — including flight attendants, serial conference goers, travel writers, CEOs, expats and even a comedian — to find out what they really need when stuck in an airport or mired in the daily commute.
Here are their picks – which just may get you some extra airline points or mellow out on the way to work.
Google Maps’ latest update for iOS adds a new “Faster Route” feature, which notifies users in navigation mode when a quicker journey to their destination becomes available.
The new feature works in conjunction with Google Maps’ existing ability to track traffic data in real time. Once alerted that there is a possible faster route, users have the option of either tapping “No thanks” and remaining on their present course, or else hitting “Reroute” and diverting their journey to one that Google predicts will be faster.
Odds are your wallet or purse cost $50–100 alone (not counting the cash and invaluable items inside) so why wouldn’t you insure it with a $25 investment?
The Find’Em Tracking Card contains a Bluetooth-connected tracking device that syncs to your phone (via free iOS or Android app) and shows you its exact location as long as you’re within 150 feet of it. And now you can get it for only $24.99 – a savings of 37% – courtesty of Cult of Mac Deals.
It’s come a long way from its disastrous early days (although there is still the occasional tendency to direct someone the wrong way up an airport taxiway), but Apple Maps may finally be taking the lead over its competitors — if you’re inclined to believe Apple’s latest patent.
The patent — recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office — was filed May 31 this year, and applies to an “Interactive Map” application, which would display multiple layers of information regarding local landmarks.
Microsoft is trying to persuade HTC to make new smartphones that run both Android and Windows Phone, and it’s willing to cut or eliminate its own license fee to make it happen. The software giant is hoping the move will encourage consumers to try out the Windows Phone platform and eventually make the switch to it — but could the scheme backfire?
While I still use Apple’s own Maps app from time to time, mostly because it’s built in to iOS, I tend to prefer Google Maps more. It just feels more complete, though that’s just my own opinion; I haven’t done any scientific analysis or comparison.
That said, the Google Maps app is pretty darn great, and there’s a couple of hidden features you can access with just a swipe (and maybe a tap or two). Here they are.