Apple gets permission to use drones to improve Apple Maps

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Drones and HD cameras are affordable, giving everyone a chance to make beautiful, cinematic video.
Apple was one of the companies given permission to carry out drone experiments.
Photo: DJI

Apple Maps was a laughingstock when it launched, but it’s come a long way since then. Now Apple has been given approval to further improve the service using drones.

As part of the U.S. Transportation’s new drone program, Apple is allowed to capture images of North Carolina using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This will allow it to enhance its mapping services with more detailed images.

Apple wants official permission to test new drone program

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Apple drone
Who wouldn't want their new iPhone delivered via drone?
Photo: Eric Huisman

Apple is one of a number of big companies seeking permission to be part of a new U.S. drone testing program, launched by President Donald Trump last year.

With the government now opening up applications for the new program, Apple has joined other tech giants including Amazon, Intel and Qualcomm in applying. It’s not yet clear what Apple is interested in achieving with its drone ambitions, although companies such as Amazon have been outspoken about their desire to pursue drone deliveries.

Watch a drone crash-land on Apple Park’s solar roof

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drone2
Well, that's one way to lose a drone!
Photo: Matthew Roberts

A would-be photographer lost his drone while attempting a flyover of the Apple Park campus last weekend. After he lost control of the unmanned aerial vehicle, it crashed onto the solar panel-covered roof of Apple’s new circular headquarters.

Check out the Apple Park drone crash footage below.

Apple says that Apple Park campus is a ‘no drone zone’

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no drone
Drones aren't Apple's favorite technology, it seems.
Photo: Kif Leswing/Twitter

Apple has no time for your drones! Yesterday was Apple’s annual investors meeting, and one of the attendees tweeted this photo of signage erected at Apple Park declaring it a “no drone zone.”

Given Apple’s insistence on privacy — and Tim Cook declaring that keeping Apple products under wraps is the “bane of [his] existence” — that’s not necessarily a surprise. Still, it does mean that Apple is seemingly none too happy about the myriad drone flyover videos which keep on showing up online.

Audiophiles compare HomePod to $85,000 speakers — we’ll tell you why on The CultCast

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cultcast

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The HomePod presales have begun, but we’ll tell you why Apple’s new smart speaker may be a huge flop, this week on The CultCast. Plus: Audiophiles are comparing HomePod’s tech to speakers that cost $85,000; Apple adds some long-awaited features to iOS 11; how to back up your iCloud photo library to your PC (and why you should). And we wrap with another episode of Drone Chat! This time, we’ll tell you why DJI’s Mavic Air is the perfect drone for almost everyone.

Our thanks to Pitney Bowes for supporting this episode. Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters. Plans start at just $5 a month!

Catch the weird, wonderful and wacky gadgets of CES 2018, on The CultCast

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Forephus
This ping pong machine is part cyborg, part Forrest Gump.
Photo: Engadget

This week, on a jam-packed, tech-tastic episode of The CultCast: We’ll tell you the weirdest, wackiest and most wonderful products revealed at CES 2018, the world’s craziest consumer electronics show. We’ve dug deep to bring you some strange ones!

Our thanks to Casper for supporting this episode. Learn why Casper makes the internet’s favorite mattress, and save $50 off your order at casper.com/cultcast.

GoPro grounds its drone business

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Karma out
GoPro discontinues the Karma and its drone business.
Photo: GoPro

While consumer drone leader DJI makes headlines at this week’s CES with new products, GoPro announced Monday it would pull out of the drone business after it sells its remaining stock of Karma drones.

The news comes after word leaked last week that GoPro was about to lay off more than 250 workers from its aerial division. The layoffs and Karma kill-off comes amid estimates that GoPro’s fourth-quarter revenues will fall more than $100 million short of projections.

The best Cyber Monday deals of 2017

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Cyber Monday 2017
Grab a bargain today!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The holiday season is finally upon us and you know what that means? Killer deals on all the tech gadgets you’ve been lusting after all year.

Cyber Monday deals for 2017 are already setting the internet into a tizzy of anticipation with big discounts on 4K TVs, smart speakers, drones, iPads, smartphones and much more. Cult of Mac will be rounding up the best deals right here so you can spend less time Cyber Monday shopping and get on with life.

Here are the best deals worth checking out:

Exclusive white DJI Mavic Pro drone lands in Apple stores

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Mavic Pro
The Mavic Pro is the iPhone of drones.
Photo: DJI

DJI unveiled the latest iteration of its popular Mavic Pro drone today and it comes with a classic Apple look.

Just in time for the holiday season, the new Mavic Pro Alpine White comes with an all-new white body that is reminiscent of the iPod and old white MacBook that were so popular. And the only place you can buy it is the Apple store.