Apple has been known to acquire small startup companies every now and then, and well they're usually nothing to write home about, this one is particular interesting. The Cupertino-based company has acquired Locationary, a location data company that relies on crowd-sourced information for real-time data.
Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference starts in just one week, and to help attendees prepare for the week-long event, the company has released a WWDC app that includes all sorts of information that should prove useful for conference goers. The app includes session info, videos, and maps of the convention floor at Moscone West.
While it may not seem noticeable at first, Apple is continuing to update its Maps app with the addition and expansion of features. Case in point, within the past couple of months, Apple has added and expanded its flyover feature in 30 cities around the world, including locations like Indianapolis, Indiana and Glasgow in Scotland.
Apple had a great first quarter of 2013, but the company hasn't forgotten about the few rough spots from the year prior. One of these rough spots was the launch of Maps, which came with the roll out of iOS 6. Despite a few stumbles, Apple is looking forward, with Tim Cook saying today in the company's earnings call that Apple is constantly improving Maps, and that it won't stop until the service lives up to "our incredibly high standards."
Apple and Foursquare have held preliminary discussions to see location data from the social-sharing service embedded into Apple Maps, sources claim, as part of a push to increase their competitiveness with Google Maps. The talks took place in recent weeks and involved Maps chief Eddy Cue, the WSJ reports, and were part of a more expansive move by Apple to increase third-party data integration in its home-grown mapping software.
This week Bloomberg is reporting that they've got a source assuring them that Apple's own Richard Williamson was pushed out this week amid a Maps team shakeup. This change of the guard was spoken of by an anonymous source close to the dealings who said Senior Vice President Eddy Cue was responsible for the push. While we've not yet been able to confirm 100% that this move was made in Apple - or if will ever be made official if it is true, we can take this from the situation one way or the other: readers want to know what Apple is doing with their in-house Maps app.
Earlier today, Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology to users of the company's new Maps app. A good portion of the letter addressed the different alternatives that users could take advantage of while Apple was busy improving their own maps. The company is now making it even more convenient to download and install a maps app that isn't Apple's own.
This whole Apple Maps and Google Maps fiasco has gotten pretty crazy. After iOS users found out that the new Apple Maps pretty much sucked, they were left wondering why Apple ditched Google Maps in the first place. Many believed it had to with the crumbling relationship between the two companies, but it turns out the answer is as simple as it gets: Apple left Google Maps because it didn't have turn-by-turn navigation.
Google is yet to prepare a version of Google Maps for iOS 6, with chairman Eric Schmidt saying it was up to Apple whether the iPhone 5 and other devices would get a new version of the mapping app. Speaking in Japan, Schmidt said that Google would "welcome" Apple's cooperation but said that "we have not done anything yet" to prepare a new version, Bloomberg reports. Google Maps' disappearance from iOS, replaced by Apple's homegrown alternative, was fueled by the Cupertino company's desire to further distance itself from reliance on Google services, insiders claims, rather than out of any specific issues with the app itself.
Apple has been catching a lot of flak over the quality of its maps for iOS 6. Apple replaced Google Maps data in the latest version of its operating system with its own maps. According to a source cited by TechCrunch, Apple has been aggressively recruiting people with experience working on Google Maps.