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Apple building 'exciting new features' for iOS location services

post #1 of 13
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As further evidence that Apple plans to dramatically expand location services and navigation in a future version of iOS, a new job listing reveals the company is working on "exciting new features" for location-aware software on the iPhone.

The company's continued strong interest in offering even more location services to iPhone users was revealed this week in a new job listing discovered by AppleInsider. Apple is looking to hire someone for the role of "iOS QA Location Engineer," a position that will be based out of the company's Cupertino, Calif., corporate headquarters.

"You will join a dynamic team responsible for qualifying the latest iOS products, working on exciting new features for iOS location services," the listing reads. "The successful candidate will complete both documented and adhoc testing to ensure high quality releases."

Specifically, a preferred candidate will have experience with GPS as well as "navigation algorithms," suggesting that Apple could be working on a turn-by-turn navigation service similar t the free Google Maps Navigation.

Apple has been looking to expand location services provided with iOS, the mobile operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad, for some time. In fact, in April the company publicly admitted it is building a "crowd-sourced traffic" service for iPhone users that will arrive in "the next couple of years."

There are indications that Apple has been on a hiring spree in 2011 to improve its Maps application and location services. For example, in March, the company posted a number of listings related to developing location services for iOS, while another advertisement in March revealed the company is looking to "radically improve" Maps for the iPhone along with location services.

While there has been no indication that Apple's new crowd-sourced traffic service will arrive as part of iOS 5, location services will still play a significant role in the forthcoming software update for the iPhone and iPad. One major feature is the new Reminders application, which offers location-aware to-do lists which can issue an alert to a user when arriving at a specific pre-set location.



The Cupertino company also purchased Google Maps competitor Placebase in 2009, and in 2010 it acquired another online mapping company, Poly9. And last year, starting with iOS 3.2, Apple began using its own location databases for the Maps software on iOS devices like the iPhone, moving away from databases maintained by Google and Skyhook Wireless.

While Apple now provides location-based services from its own databases, the iPhone maker still relies on Google for maps and "Street View" content in the native iOS Maps application. The company recently renewed its partnership with Google for continued access to that data.
post #2 of 13
I really hope Apple do come up with their own system. As many have observed they have absorbed many companies such as Siri and others over the last few years that indicate that is the direction. The question is, would they break with Google maps or do what they did with the mapping app on the iPhone and iPad, overlay Google maps using their own app? I hope the Placebase acquisition point to their own. Most of all I hope Apple do one of their paradigm shifts on this and we look at the result and say ... "Wow!"
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I really hope Apple do come up with their own system. As many have observed they have absorbed many companies such as Siri and others over the last few years that indicate that is the direction. The question is, would they break with Google maps or do what they did with the mapping app on the iPhone and iPad, overlay Google maps using their own app? I hope the Placebase acquisition point to their own. Most of all I hope Apple do one of their paradigm shifts on this and we look at the result and say ... "Wow!"

I agree. Apple's interpretation on mapping and location services would be refreshing. But I imagine it would be wise to stick with Google because no one is investing like they are to gather data from satellites, on the ground and even undersea!
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I really hope Apple do come up with their own system. As many have observed they have absorbed many companies such as Siri and others over the last few years that indicate that is the direction. The question is, would they break with Google maps or do what they did with the mapping app on the iPhone and iPad, overlay Google maps using their own app? I hope the Placebase acquisition point to their own. Most of all I hope Apple do one of their paradigm shifts on this and we look at the result and say ... "Wow!"

I hope they surprise us with new voice recognition and mapping software when they debut the next iPhone. Is that too much to ask for?
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #5 of 13
Google maps navigation with turn by turn directions is probably my favorite feature of Android.
post #6 of 13
Where is "Find My Friends"? I'm sure I read about this app (err... rumors about this app, that is) quite a while ago and I've been waiting ever since. If it fails to materialize in iOS5 then I'll never ever believe another Apple rumor again.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

Where is "Find My Friends"? I'm sure I read about this app (err... rumors about this app, that is) quite a while ago and I've been waiting ever since. If it fails to materialize in iOS5 then I'll never ever believe another Apple rumor again.



Explain, please. Particularly about how that not coming true has ANYTHING to do with you believing Apple rumors.

Oh, look at that.

Notice how it says it's dependent on MobileMe… which no longer exists? And how it's not built into iCloud or seen by anyone testing iCloud?

And how it would have been depended on Location Services and this story was written before the location services fiasco about people being "tracked", which is exactly what this feature would have done?

And now that people have the option of not being tracked at all, this feature would be worthless because you wouldn't be able to find people?

It's gone for now.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #8 of 13
One of two items that stops me from considering the iPhone: Google Maps. The other is the lack of support for the AWS band. Fix those and I'm there.

And Maps on Android is an altogether amazing experience. There's prompts when you navigate on transit telling you to get off at a certain stop. There's the seamless integration with Places and Latitude. There's Streetview worked into Maps Navigation. There's Voice Actions and Voice Search on maps. Etc. This is one of those things that Android has done right. I really hope Apple can match it. The current iOS Maps app is good....as in good-looking. Functionally, it's only marginally better than a paper map.
post #9 of 13
... GeoVector's R&D and intellectual property to date has been centered on the concept that knowing the position and orientation of a mobile device allows an application to provide digital information associated with locations in the real world to a user based upon the direction the device is being pointed....

... GeoVector's [has] patents in the fields of directional search, augmented reality, the efficient operation of spatially aware devices, and other aspects of spatially aware computing and photography.

... In September 2009, GeoVector launched World Surfer (TM) for the iPhone & Google Android platforms...

http://geovector.com/
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

The other is the lack of support for the AWS band.

I used to love this group in the '80s, but they haven't released anything lately.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

One of two items that stops me from considering the iPhone: Google Maps. The other is the lack of support for the AWS band. Fix those and I'm there.

And Maps on Android is an altogether amazing experience. There's prompts when you navigate on transit telling you to get off at a certain stop. There's the seamless integration with Places and Latitude. There's Streetview worked into Maps Navigation. There's Voice Actions and Voice Search on maps. Etc. This is one of those things that Android has done right. I really hope Apple can match it. The current iOS Maps app is good....as in good-looking. Functionally, it's only marginally better than a paper map.

Yeah maps certainly seems to be one area where iOS is really being left behind at the moment. Surely this will change soon...

Like Soli, I'd like to see a radically re-imagined maps application (including turn by turn etc at minimum) be a surprise inclusion at the launch of the iPhone 5/rollout of iOS 5. And I hope it is available to the iPhone 4 too...
15" uMacbook Pro 2.4Ghz 8GB 128GB SSD/500GB 7200rpm, iMac 27" i5 16GB 1TB, MacBook Air 8GB 256GB, iPhone 5s 64GB, iPhone 4 32GB, iPad 4 64GB, Apple TV2/3, iPod Nano 2nd gen, iPod Touch 4th gen,...
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15" uMacbook Pro 2.4Ghz 8GB 128GB SSD/500GB 7200rpm, iMac 27" i5 16GB 1TB, MacBook Air 8GB 256GB, iPhone 5s 64GB, iPhone 4 32GB, iPad 4 64GB, Apple TV2/3, iPod Nano 2nd gen, iPod Touch 4th gen,...
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post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

I used to love this group in the '80s, but they haven't released anything lately.

Yeah. They released their last album on Jan 1st 2008. They did tour earlier this year though.
http://www.myspace.com/awsband
post #13 of 13
This has little to do with mapping or navigation to benefit consumers, but instead is all about advertising revenue. LBS (Location Based Services) contributed about $2.8B in advertising revenue last year. By 2015 that figure is projected to climb to $10.3 billion. And the bulk of that will be coming from smartphone use.
http://www.pyramidresearch.com/store...d-Services.htm

Anytime a B is attached to revenue in the mobile space it gets Apple's attention. They might not have seen success yet with iAds, but I'll guarantee they're still set on seeing a few billion for themselves in placing ads for others. For Apple to be successful they're going to have to convince users of their products that sharing their location and travel stats with Apple is for the benefit of the consumer, while minimizing the financial benefits to Apple. It's a tricky balancing act as Google knows. For there to be success the companies are going to have to maintain the blind trust of their users, or they won't be willing to share location. Apple has a advantage here in that they require opting-out, rather than in. But IMO, that need to trust may be the reason behind these whisper-campaigns to seed distrust of Google, or Facebook, and soon Apple in all probability, originating in a corporate backroom somewhere rather than from real user concerns. IIRC, Facebook secretly paid for a PR campaign just last year intended to cast Google as untrustworthy.

So it's Apple's plan to tear a page from Google's playbook and offer their own location/navigation solution, encouraging users to share specific location information in return for directions, traffic notifications. . . and targeted ads or possible sale of travel info, with their resultant revenue flowing to Apple. While Google might be seeing the wisdom of a "walled garden" in some ways, Apple isn't above taking a few ideas from Google either. They've both been American success stories.
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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