Google’s latest Waze update on iOS makes it easier for drivers to prepare for toll roads during their next journey. Users in the U.S. and Canada will now see exactly how much they’ll have to pay at tolls on their route.
Apple’s mapping fleet is moving on two feet to get a closer look at your local streets.
We’ve seen Apple’s mapping vans roaming the U.S. for years now, but this week an Apple employee was spotted walking around San Francisco with a huge backpack that packed a bunch of sensors to gather data for the Apple Maps revamp.
One of the iOS 11 features you may not know about is that Apple now offers indoor mapping support for a growing number of international airports and malls.
While the number of airports and malls covered is still relatively small — with 34 airports, mostly based in the U.S., and a handful of shopping malls — Apple has published a list of where these are located.
It was widely reported in January that Apple was in talks to buy Waze, an Israeli startup with a hugely popular maps app. Waze was rumored to be asking Apple for $750 million. The same outlet that broke the acquisition rumor quickly backpedaled and said no such deal was taking place. Google ended up buying Waze in June for $1 billion.
And so goes the buyout game in Silicon Valley, a power play where tech giants like Apple and Google court hot startups with the hopes of adding them to their war chests.
Apple had its biggest year ever for acquisitions in 2013, with a record 15 smaller companies joining the fold. A dozen of them have now been publicly disclosed.
For an entity as secretive as Apple, examining the companies it buys is one of the only ways to peek into its future plans. When AuthenTec, a company that specialized in fingerprint readers and identification software, was purchased in July 2012, speculation immediately followed. What did Apple want with fingerprint sensors? The answer ended up being obvious, and the technology debuted in Touch ID in September 2013.
Often the outcome of an Apple acquisition isn’t so immediately apparent.
Historically, Apple acquires far fewer companies than its competitors. But the line is starting to blur. Google publicly bought three times as many companies as Apple in 2012 and not even twice as many in 2013. Apple bought more companies than Microsoft in 2013.
So what does all of this say about Apple’s future?
It’s the third most asked question next to “did I make the right choice of next generation iPad?” and “why is it so cold at the moment?” (I’m writing this post from England) — but what exactly does Apple plan to do with PrimeSense?
Having acquired the Israel-based 3D-motion tracking company behind the original Xbox Kinect for an estimated $360 million, most people assumed that Apple would use the technology to incorporate motion tech into its long-awaited television-based hardware.
According to Washington Post tech journalist Jessica Lessin, however, that’s not right at all.
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.
Google has separated the mapping and commerce unit headed up by executive Jeff Huber in a “two-part management shift” that also saw Android chief Andy Rubin leave his position on Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reports. Huber will now join the Google X unit run by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Apple purchasing several mapping companies over the last fews years, Apple is finally replacing Google Maps with its own solution in iOS 6. But it seems the Cupertino company may be planning to expand it beyond iOS. One developer has discovered some code within the iOS 6 beta that indicates Maps will also be coming to OS X later on.
Following Apple’s Google’s leap into 3D mapping technologies, Amazon has acquired a 3D mapping startup of its own. The online retail giant today sealed a deal to purchase UpNext in a move that could signal the company’s intentions to bring 3D maps to its Kindle Fire slate without any assistance from Google.