Apple has purchased a small startup called WiFiSLAM, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The two-year-old company specializes in indoor mapping, which is something Google has already been doing with Google Maps for some time.
Since Apple debuted its own mapping technology in iOS 6, it’s been working to bring its service up to par with Google Maps. WiFiSLAM’s expertise could very well be used to improve Apple Maps, and the acquisition also bodes well for another Apple service, Passbook.
After a few days of speculation, Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt, finally commented on whether Google Now would be making its way to iOS. This morning, Schmidt said that Google Now has been submitted to the App Store and the only thing standing in its way is Apple. The only problem is Schmidt’s completely wrong.
Apple commented on the Google Now approval process this afternoon and said that they haven’t even received Google Now yet.
Ask some people and Apple’s Maps is the cat’s meow, and just as reliable (if not more so) than Google. Ask others (like me) and Apple Maps seem to have been plotted out by the Buster Bluth of catographers, and they haven’t been able to get accurate directions anywhere ever since iOS 6 launched.
The Apple Maps vs. Google Maps debate isn’t likely to be settled any time soon in userland, but what do developers think? Which is better for developers: Apple Maps or Google Maps?
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.
John C Dvorak, Leo Laporte, and a couple of other folks involved in This Week in Tech (TwiT) had a meeting together at the Apple campus at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino this past Monday, and they ended up having an informal battle of the navigation apps in the three cars they were each driving. TWiT CEO Lisa Kentzell and marketing guy Glenn Rubenstein were in one car, using Apple Maps, while Laporte was using Waze, Dvorak using Google Maps.
Dvorak wrote the story up over at PC Magazine, and claims that Apple Maps got the TWiT folks to the Apple campus faster than either Waze, which came in dead last, or Google Maps. We can count on this being the truth of their experience, as anyone of Dvorak’s stature might have a hard time admitting that he lost a race.
Personally, I’ve never had a problem with Apple Maps in its current iOS 6 incarnation, but many people have. Now that Google Maps is out for iOS, though, there’s an easy way to get around using Apple Maps, using the transit option.
Google has released the first update to its official Maps app for the iPhone. Google Maps 1.1 includes integration with Google Contacts so you can quickly search for friends’ addresses by name. There’s also a local places search for finding business around you with keywords like “restaurants” and “bars.”
Google has updated its Google Maps SDK for iOS to version 1.1, opening up its API to all third-party developers who now have the ability to build iOS apps with Google Maps embedded. The update also adds support for ground overlays, gesture controls, and more.
Google’s Daniel Graf accepting the 2012 Crunchies award.
Google won the award for Best Mobile Application at the sixth edition of the TechCrunch Crunchies Awards, beating out Grindr, Instagram, and Square.
“I see a few empty seats, so it looks like those guys haven’t downloaded the app and got lost somewhere,” said the Daniel Graf, Google’s director of mobile maps, accepting the statue of a gorilla smashing a TV set.
For most of us, glitches in Apple Maps are just a minor inconvenience and you can just switch over to Google Maps when you have a problem. But for one restaurant in Portland, Oregon, Apple Maps has cost them about $50,000 worth of business since it was released in September.