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Briefly: Maps Flyover adds cities, Apple Pay UK faces limits

06/26, 9:34am

Apple Maps adds seven new cities to Flyover feature

Earlier this week, Apple expanded the Flyover feature of its Apple Maps service by adding six international and one North American city to the visual-overview feature, which combines aerial photography with computer-generated graphic enhancements to create 3D views of various locations. The new cities have been added to both the iOS and OS X version of Maps.

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Briefly: Apple labels vans, promotes Jackson, bans app snooping

06/24, 4:01pm

Apple now labelling ground-truth vans, promoting Apple Maps

Having initially triggered a way of often-silly speculation about driverless, solar-powered cars when its vans first appeared, Apple is now clearly labelling its ground-truth GPS data collection vans as being for use with Apple Maps, and promoting the service with a sign seen on vans now patrolling Seattle. The company recently confirmed that the vans were collecting real-world location data that will be "used to improve Apple Maps."

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Briefly: Apple renews TomTom maps, Apple Pay expansions

05/20, 12:04pm

Maps to continue to use TomTom data for navigation with renewed contract

TomTom, the Dutch mapping data company that has been one of the key partners in Apple Maps since day one, will continue to supply the iPhone maker with geographic and street-level data, despite rumors of a wholly revamped Maps service in the works. TomTom is one of several partners Apple uses to collect location data for Maps, but has been one of the most important, even as Apple has spent much of the last three years acquiring other GPS-related companies.

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Briefly: Apple Maps Connect expands again, Apple RAW support updated

05/05, 8:30am

Apple Maps Connect adds five European countries, allows businesses to update listings

The expansion of Apple Maps Connect, a service that allows developers and business owners to manage and expand current Apple Maps listings, continues. Yesterday, the company added five more countries to its list of European nations able to use the service: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Sweden. The Maps Connect feature adds business and indoor information drawn from Apple Maps' iBeacon-based Indoor Mapping initiative to help businesses offer a more complete profile on themselves.

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Nokia courting Apple, others to buy Here mapping tech, reports claim

04/23, 1:00pm

Revamped iOS version could make integration easier, but sale seems unlikely

Apple and a number of other companies -- including Facebook, Amazon, Sirius XM, and China-based services Alibaba and Baidu are among many other firms being targeted by Nokia as it prepares to sell off its Here mapping service and technology. While Apple has periodically purchased map technology that can be integrated with its Apple Maps service in the hopes of eventual public transit data, Nokia may be overvaluing the deal.

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Apple Maps adds TripAdvisor, Booking.com reviews in latest improvement

04/06, 1:11pm

New sources augment Yelp, may result from Spotsetter acquisition last year

New hotel reviews from TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com are now appearing alongside other local data from long-time partner Yelp in Apple Map search results, even though the two companies are not yet listed as official sources on the Maps attribution webpage. The feature expansion appears to have been implemented very recently, and reports say that some locations now offer additional photos and information on hotels from the two new sources.

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Living With: Apple Maps (OS X, iOS)

03/11, 3:06pm

Apple Maps is underrated, except when it isn't

Well, this is awkward: I'm about to enthuse at you about how and why Apple Maps is very good, but the impetus came when my wife Angela offered to pick me up from a meeting in Kings Heath, Birmingham (in England, for those not familiar with the place). I shared my location with her over Messages and was just thinking how handy this was, how straightforward and easy it was -- when she texted back "why are you in Stechford?"

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Mystery vans could be tied to Apple Maps or self-driving car projects

02/04, 10:35am

May be intended to produce Street View-style content

Unusual minivans -- equipped with what are believed to be cameras and LiDAR sensors -- have been spotted driving around California's Bay Area in recent weeks, reports say. The vehicles each have an X-shaped frame mounted to a luggage rack; the cameras are situated on four corners. Facing forward and back are spinning cylinders, similar to the LiDAR systems used on Google's self-driving car prototypes. Investigation by CBS affliate KPIX has discovered that a blue Dodge Caravan with the equipment is under lease to Apple.

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Apple Maps gets 12 new Flyover cities

01/27, 3:44pm

Major additions include Hamburg, Liverpool

Apple has added 12 new towns and cities to the list of Apple Maps locations with Flyover coverage. Of these only one is in the US -- that being Amarillo, Texas. The others include three places in France -- Beziers, Clermont, and Saint-Tropez -- along with Aguadilla and Arecibo in Puerto Rico, Brno in the Czech Republic, Cittadella in Italy, Hamburg in Germany, Helsingborg in Sweden, Liverpool in England, and Odense in Denmark.

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Apple said to have bought mapping company, Evernote competitor

12/23, 2:35pm

Apple acquisitions reportedly continue

Apple may have stealthily acquired two more companies in a continuing effort to improve the functionality of iOS. 9to5Mac reported on Monday that Apple has snatched up both BroadMap – a mapping firm – and Catch – an Evernote competitor – in the last several months. Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously said that Apple has acquired 15 firms this year, but not all of those have been revealed to date, and these latest two firms appear to be the sort that Apple would pick up.

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Apple patent filings detail quantum-dot displays, 'layered map' UI

12/19, 11:37am

Filings hint at future product features

The US Patent and Trademark Office has published several Apple patent applications, including separate filings for an "interactive map" interface and "quantum dot-enhanced display." The map application, spotted by AppleInsider, details an interactive interface that dynamically adjusts map content based on a chosen mode, with different modes for a range of activities or interests.

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Report: Apple Maps dominant on iOS after a year of improvements

11/11, 10:30pm

Google loses nearly 80 percent of iOS users, falls on Android as well

A year ago, Apple's own Maps program - which had launched to scathing press and user reviews due to errors, graphical glitches and the dropping of transit directions - was the laughing stock of the mapping industry. Google Maps - which finally produced its own iOS app after months of playing coy - was in the catbird seat, with 81.1 million users (out of a combined 103.6 million US iOS and Android market). One year later, things have changed.

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Job posting confirms Apple adding public transit back to Maps

10/29, 10:21pm

New positions hint at further new features for future updates

Two new job listings at Apple have confirmed that the company is actively working to add public transit routing data to its Maps program, a feature long called-for and expected since the Apple Maps rollout in 2012. The company is hiring a "Maps Public Transit Engineering Manager" as well as a team of "Maps C++ Software Engineers - Public Transit," according to the postings. The manager will be responsible for both leading and building the Public Transit team.

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Apple seeking 'ground truth' specialist for Australia Maps

02/22, 11:05pm

Country has particular issues with labels in Apple Maps

In addition to a rash of hiring positions the company has recently posted for work on further improving its Maps app, Apple has posted a new job for a "Maps Ground Truth Data Specialist" for Australia. The country has had to deal with sometimes-dangerous levels of incorrect information from both Apple Maps and Google Maps, resulting in police warnings to motorists and others not to rely exclusively on the mapping data provided by the apps. The new position would send people out to verify and correct satellite imagery.

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Prank data fouls Apple Maps street names in Kabul

01/17, 6:25pm

Fake names stem from old OpenStreetMap info

Just as Apple Maps has regained user trust by correcting many of the major problems with early versions of its maps, an old prank by some Afghan university students is giving the company another black eye over inaccurate street names shown for areas of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. A reliance on outdated data from OpenStreetMap -- a source used by Apple for some areas, and which is editable by users -- seems to be the source of the joke street names.

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Google Maps said to drive massive iOS 6 adoption spike [U]

12/19, 7:46pm

MoPub sees iOS 6 adoption jump after Google Maps

[Update: Chitika study contradicts MoPub, says increase due to China debut] Google Maps recent arrival on iOS 6 may have led to a significant number of users upgrading to that version of iOS. This according to ad network MoPub, which saw iOS 6 adoption jump 29 percent in the five days following the release of the new version of Google Maps. A later study by rival Chitika reported that in fact, US increase in iOS 6 adoption rates were basically flat, and credited the bump to the iPhone 5's debut in China, where it sold more than two million units in its first weekend.

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Samsung ad pokes Apple's Aussie map woes

12/12, 2:23pm

Samsung boasts Google Maps over Apple mishaps

Samsung has taken aim at Apple's most recent maps app mishap, poking fun at the recent bulletin issued by police in Victoria, Australia, warning people away from relying solely on the Maps app in iOS 6 when navigating. A new ad installation on display on George Street in Sydney has a lost-looking four-wheel drive and camping equipment parked on a sidewalk, as well as a sign saying "Oops." The ad then goes on to tout the mapping abilities of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S III smartphone, which relies on Google Maps.

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