Monday, January 26, 2015

3 Ways Apple Could Push Maps Forward With iOS 9 in 2015

Revamped Maps App – 2015

Three years after Apple evicted Google Maps from iOS, the company’s own mapping and navigation offering seems to have some critical weaknesses and the company is focusing on what lays ahead for the next twelve months for Apple Maps.

A revamped Maps apps is presumed to be one of the iOS 8’s tentpole feature with updated data for the much awaited edition of public transit direction, though the most interesting modification ended being the introduction of nine new cities for a three dimensional flyover feature. Apple has tapped in ten new sources for business listing and the additions of DAC Group, Location3 Media, Placeable, Marquette Group, PositionTech, SIM Partners, SinglePlatform, UBL, Yext and Yodle to the initial trio of Factual, Neustar/Localeze and Yelp enhanced the number of firms with point of interest data to a baker’s dozen.

The company also began another data related move in a comprehensive data scrubbing program which included the launch of a self-serve Maps Connect portal enabling local businesses to add directly or modify listings as well as personal calls to business owners from Maps team members to manage conflicting data and changes can now be rolled out daily instead of once a week.

Moreover, Apple Maps has also obtained its web debut last year, which has powered the iCloud version of `Find my iPhone’, though has not yet propagated it to all of Apple’s web properties and the retail store driving directions of the company are still powered by Google. Apple is always known in making process in every performance and is in the midst of overhauling things front to back.

Public transit: The company will integrate the basic door to door path finding technology which is needed by purchasing transit companies like HopStop and Embark with a likely HopStop’s future trip planning that would enable users, pre plan journeys such as, comparing cross town rush hour routes during lunch times and Embarks’ heads up notifications providing users with route advisories and closures. Apple has provides some details with regards to its plans with a pair of patent applications which were revealed last month wherein the documents provide information of a dynamic routing system functioning as a sort of person commuting assistant collecting routing date, timetables together with information on amenities like Wi-Fi availability in one place.

Crowdsourcing:It is rumoured that Apple in 2013 had offered around $500 million in order to acquire traffic app Waze who is believed to have asked for more and eventually it was Google who snapped up the Israeli company for almost $1 billion. Apple still tends to leverage Waze as one of the various sources for real-time traffic data though the company seems focused on in-house crowdsourcing headway.An iOS developer working on mapping application informed AppleInsider that crowdsourced traffic date is envisaged as a `serious target for Apple’s Maps team.

Since Waze’s success proved active, user reporting with regards to traffic conditions tend to have significant advantage over traditional passive device location monitoring that is presently the main method where companies compile traffic date. This is borne out by patent application of Apple which details a system similar to Waze and this approach of Apple would enable users to report accidents or any other hurdles and slowdowns that could then be directed to other drivers approaching that area.

Indoor location:Identifying a user’s location accurately is very important as the services and software tend to provide useful contextual information which is relatively an easy task when the user is outdoors or in the range of a signal from GLONASS or GPS satellites. It could be different situation when walls and a ceiling tend to be in the way.

Apple has taken two different though complimentary approaches to this issue, the first being the iBeacon system that depends on Bluetooth transmitters the size of a palm, placed around a certain space. When an iOS device recognizes an iBeacon, it analyses the signal in determining the approximate distance from the beacon. With the use of multiple iBeacons with known locations, the developers can navigate the position of the user. This could not be of much help since due to the absence of central database of iBeacon locations and such data, by and large could only be used by the owner of the beacons.

To handle the larger problem, Apple has acquired small indoor mapping firm, WiFiSLAM earlier in 2013. The technology of WiFiSLAM connects data from on-device sensors with Wi-Fi signal trilateration to plot user’s path and the signals provide the relative position while the on-board sensors record the movement. With the combination of all the data, over a period of time, could bring about detailed patterns for instance, if an obstacle is three feet from point A, it can be avoided by moving two feet to the left. Extending data can capture and pattern recognition to users of iPhone that visit a shopping mall on a particular day. This enables the development of detailed as well as highly accurate map without the need of dedicated data gathering initiatives or overhead satellites.

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