Job listing reveals Apple Maps will become available cross-platform via the Web

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
While Apple Maps is currently restricted to dedicated apps on iOS and OS X, that will change, as a new job listing from Apple reveals the company plans to make its mapping service available cross-platform on the Web.




Apple's future plans were revealed in an advertisement seeking a "Maps JavaScript Engineer" posted by the company in the last month. The full-time position based at the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters seeks a Web technology expert "to help make maps work seamlessly on the web."

The Web development position requires "deep knowledge" of JavaScript, as Apple unsurprisingly plans for its Web-based Maps service to be a "cross-platform" solution.

Currently, Apple Maps are only available on iOS 6 and later, as well as OS X 10.9 Mavericks and newer, but presumably a Web-based Maps service would allow users on other platforms, such as Microsoft's Windows, to access the service. Such a move would not be a huge surprise for the company, which already offers much of its iCloud service, as well as the iWork productivity suite, in cross-platform browser-based forms.

In addition to JavaScript, Apple also seeks a candidate familiar with HTML and CSS, and the ideal applicant will have a "proven track record of shipping excellent client-side web applications." The job listing was first noted by Benedict Evans.




Apple already owns and uses a Web URL for its mapping service at maps.apple.com, but in its current form it cannot be used to access Apple Maps via a browser. Instead, Apple uses it to allow users to share map data with other users and other devices, including cross-platform transitions between OS X and iOS.

The job listing marks the second time this year that Apple has revealed future plans for its Maps service via a vacancy. Back in April, AppleInsider was also first to report that the company advertised plans to bring public transit information to Apple Maps.

A major overhaul of Apple Maps is widely expected to be a key feature of the next generation versions of iOS and OS X, to be announced at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week. Beyond cross-platform Web access and public transportation, other potential additions could include crowdsourced traffic information, indoor location tracking, and more detailed Flyover "street view" data thanks to Apple's mapping vans that have been driving around the U.S.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,166member
    Now that is interesting, Given ad revenue or gathering user data are not Apple's motives I wonder what benefit allowing other platforms to use it are? The only purpose I can see is to attract users to buy Apple hardware, in which case Apple must feel confident the new Maps will be of a very high standard in terms of use and performance, which as we all know, wasn't the case a while back. Or am I missing something?
  • Reply 2 of 37
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,939member
    This is good news being Apple iphone user, It may allow to use Apple maps software on my Windows desktop machine . I can chart my travel direction route on desktop and than send it to my iphone to exactly follow that route on iphone while driving.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    joe28753joe28753 Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    Now that is interesting, Given ad revenue or gathering user data are not Apple's motives I wonder what benefit allowing other platforms to use it are? The only purpose I can see is to attract users to buy Apple hardware, in which case Apple must feel confident the new Maps will be of a very high standard in terms of use and performance, which as we all know, wasn't the case a while back. Or am I missing something?

    If they have an iPhone, but use a Windows computer, or simply use Windows at the office, this would be beneficial. Basically like Maps app on Mac. Send route to iPhone, sync history and favorites etc. 

     

    If they don't have any Apple hardware, this could be beneficial too. Maybe they add some new feature like indoor mapping or something we haven't thought of yet.

     

    Regardless, more users is beneficial to Apple and the platform and other users. More people sending corrections, more people searching for things, more people planning routes. The more user data they have, the better they can make the app, even if it's not for getting ad revenue.

  • Reply 4 of 37
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,831member

    iCloud's "Find My iPhone" feature already uses Apple Maps, albeit in a limited fashion; no search, points of interest, 3D Flyover, etc. It works in Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari on Windows and OS X (and Linux).

     

    Obviously Apple would probably like to bring the full experience to the web in a dedicated stand-alone site, and I've always thought they would as part of iCloud's services. I also think iMessage and Spotlight will eventually make its way to iCloud as well.

  • Reply 5 of 37
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Now that is interesting, Given ad revenue or gathering user data are not Apple's motives I wonder what benefit allowing other platforms to use it are? The only purpose I can see is to attract users to buy Apple hardware, in which case Apple must feel confident the new Maps will be of a very high standard in terms of use and performance, which as we all know, wasn't the case a while back. Or am I missing something?

    If this means Apple is really getting serious about the cloud that's a good thing. Start fighting Google on their home turf.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    Now that is interesting, Given ad revenue or gathering user data are not Apple's motives I wonder what benefit allowing other platforms to use it are? The only purpose I can see is to attract users to buy Apple hardware, in which case Apple must feel confident the new Maps will be of a very high standard in terms of use and performance, which as we all know, wasn't the case a while back. Or am I missing something?



    I see the benefit in that Apple whether it wants or not has to compete with Google on their same terrain for more and more services, and this allows them to do exactly that.

    What I wonder is how they will monetize this, because they will need to. Google's approach, where ads aren't clearly visible, could be a solution.

  • Reply 7 of 37
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Now that is interesting, Given ad revenue or gathering user data are not Apple's motives I wonder what benefit allowing other platforms to use it are? The only purpose I can see is to attract users to buy Apple hardware, in which case Apple must feel confident the new Maps will be of a very high standard in terms of use and performance, which as we all know, wasn't the case a while back. Or am I missing something?

    More users means a better POI database, corrections, etc.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    More users means a better POI database, corrections, etc.
    There's lots of potential benefits, including ad-related and Apple Pay revenue.
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3068776-apple-a-small-change-in-apple-maps-a-giant-leap-into-mobile-ads
  • Reply 9 of 37
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,527member
    Looks like Apple is going to pull a Itunes with Maps, When Apple allowed Itune to be used on PC the usage jump. Apple allowing Maps across the board does not threating any of Apple business it only hurts google and the fact that you can Map on your desktop and then send the map to your iOS device is great I use it all the time. If other web users can do the same via an icloud account this will only drive more useage for Apple.

    Google is getting attached on all fronts, Apple is still waging a war of attrition with Google.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,010member
    wood1208 wrote: »
    This is good news being Apple iphone user, It may allow to use Apple maps software on my Windows desktop machine . I can chart my travel direction route on desktop and than send it to my iphone to exactly follow that route on iphone while driving.

    You could... but if you already have an iPhone why not just do your charting there?
  • Reply 11 of 37
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    There's lots of potential benefits, including ad-related and Apple Pay revenue.
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3068776-apple-a-small-change-in-apple-maps-a-giant-leap-into-mobile-ads

    Apple isnt Google. It's not always about ROI. :rolleyes:
  • Reply 12 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    Apple isnt Google. It's not always about ROI. :rolleyes:
    No one said it was. But it is more often than not. Apple isn't a non-profit. An investment generally expects a return on it, and there's nothing wrong with expecting one in this case either is there? Geesh. . .
  • Reply 13 of 37
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    maestro64 wrote: »
    Looks like Apple is going to pull a Itunes with Maps, When Apple allowed Itune to be used on PC the usage jump. Apple allowing Maps across the board does not threating any of Apple business it only hurts google and the fact that you can Map on your desktop and then send the map to your iOS device is great I use it all the time. If other web users can do the same via an icloud account this will only drive more useage for Apple.

    Google is getting attached on all fronts, Apple is still waging a war of attrition with Google.
    I hope they do it better than iTunes or there's no hope of using it on a windows desktop.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,831member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    No one said it was. But it is more often than not. Apple isn't a non-profit. An investment generally expects a return on it, and there's nothing wrong with expecting one in this case either is there? Geesh. . .



    If Apple can provide a valuable service for their customers and extend that service to an even greater audience with little to no overhead, then why not? Those customers pay for Apple products and that subsidizes most of Apple's services.

     

    There's no reason they can't take an online service designed as a convenience to their customers and allow access by "outsiders". They did this with iWork and it is ad-free. They'll do the same with Maps.

     

    ?Apple could already make a crap ton of money from throwing ads everywhere, but they don't... Because more often then not with Apple, it's not about ROI.

  • Reply 15 of 37
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,831member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by singularity View Post





    I hope they do it better than iTunes or there's no hope of using it on a windows desktop.



    The problem with Apple moving home grown applications to other platforms is that they eat their own dog food, so to speak. Meaning they use a lot of built-in APIs and services provided by OS X. All of that has to be moved over as well and makes for a not so good experience.

     

    iTunes isn't just an application, it's a media platform, but I think Apple can do a better job by building a version that uses native technologies in Windows rather than trying to bring their own over. Or move to a truly cross platform version and rebuild iTunes for the web as they've done with iWork.

  • Reply 16 of 37
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,939member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    You could... but if you already have an iPhone why not just do your charting there?



    Yes, but it is much more convenient to chart route on desktop while in office or home before start driving(send to iphone). Also, on desktop easier one could drag move around route( POI ) and set it the way you like/familiar and than boom, just send to iphone. Currently, I print my route on paper when driving to far unknown places and than use iphone to let it route but make sure I still follow that paper route.  I can avoid to print on paper if I can map route on any popular desktop using Apple Maps software and than send to my device to follow the same route. Much less stressful while driving and knowing to follow the known route.

  • Reply 17 of 37

    Perhaps it is simply justified by the reduction in the fees Apple has to pay for the maps databases, etc and maximize their value to the user base.  If they are already creating a great Maps database, perhaps creating another outlet (cross-platform web-based map services) is a relatively low cost extension.  

  • Reply 18 of 37
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,506member
    Now that is interesting, Given ad revenue or gathering user data are not Apple's motives I wonder what benefit allowing other platforms to use it are? The only purpose I can see is to attract users to buy Apple hardware, in which case Apple must feel confident the new Maps will be of a very high standard in terms of use and performance, which as we all know, wasn't the case a while back. Or am I missing something?

    There is a lot of emphasis in using maps on mobile devices (including, phones, tablets and cars).

    However, there are some map activities easiest done on a computer as opposed to a touch device. Many of these same activities require data not usually considered (or included) in a mapping application. Most of this data is readily available on the web.

    Just, yesterday we used Apple Maps running on a Jeep Cherokee (via connected Apple Watch and iPhone) to navigate to a new (to us) location in a different town ...  pretty common stuff, eh -- starting point, ending point, route selection, navigation directions -- no big challenge for the Watch/iPhone ... Tap-tap turn left at the next ....

    But, consider a different mapping activity -- one where there are many more options and variables involved ... Consider a travel agent who is planning an itinerary for that trip to NYC. The agent wants to maximize the use of your time and allow you to visit desired POIs ... This involves creating routes with multiple planned stops, involving walking, public transportation, private car, etc. In addition, the timing of the stops is important -- including:  weather;  public and private transportation schedules… tour and tour guide schedules;  show times;  event schedules;  etc. ... and the availability of all these in concert with the needs of the client. In fact, the agent may create an itinerary with several options for the client to select.

    The end result of this will be an itinerary, a bit more involved (multiple way points), but not too different than our trip yesterday to a new place in a new town.

    But the creation process is much more involved because of the need to coordinate with data (schedules, availability, weather, etc.) not usually part of a maps app.

    During the creation process, the agent may use 3D Flyover and Street View to help the client select among several options.

    Once the itinerary is created, the 3D Flyover and Street View, likely, will be included in the package for the client for use on his iPad or iPhone to plan ahead, follow along, and review the planned activities. Or, maybe AirPlayed to the HDTV to show famly and friends.

    After return, the agent (or client) can integrate photos and videos you take -- with the visual components (Flyover and Street View) of the itinerary ... for your future personal enjoyment.

    BTW, with the right combination of native and web apps the client can do this all himself -- if so desired.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    Now that is interesting, Given ad revenue or gathering user data are not Apple's motives I wonder what benefit allowing other platforms to use it are? The only purpose I can see is to attract users to buy Apple hardware, in which case Apple must feel confident the new Maps will be of a very high standard in terms of use and performance, which as we all know, wasn't the case a while back. Or am I missing something?



    Isn't it obvious that that's the purpose?

  • Reply 20 of 37
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    You could... but if you already have an iPhone why not just do your charting there?



    It's called choices. I prefer my full size keyboard and mouse/Trackpad to the iPhone's when I'm at the computer.

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