Saturday, November 7, 2015

Apple’s Survey App Helps Venues Easily Create Indoor Maps


Apple’s Dedicated Indoor Positioning App - iOS

Apple had now launched a dedicated indoor positioning app on iOS, enabling business holders to map out their venues by utilising their iPhones. The Indoor Survey App was first noticed on the App Store by Steve Troughton-Smith, a developer and though it did not appear in search, it is effortlessly accessible through a direct link.

The app had been updated on October 27 and hence it had been on the App Store for a week before anyone had discovered it. Its description stated that an iOS 9 would be needed or later with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch compatibility together with an 18MB download size. Description on iTunes reads thus `enable indoor positioning within a venue using the Indoor Survey App.

By dropping points on a map within the Survey App, you indicate your position within the venue as you walk through and as you do, the Indoor Survey App measures the radio frequency – RF signal data combining it with an iPhone’s sensor data’.

 Apple had been building up its indoor mapping tools for a year now in silence. It had introduced iBeacons in 2013, small Bluetooth transmitters, which retailers as well as venue owners could utilise in delivering location specific notifications and alerts.

Mixture of Wi-Fi & Radio Signals – Track Positions

In the iOS 8 update last year, Apple had given the developers access to more comprehensible location data using the iPhone’s indication coprocessor. As noted by Apple Insider, the Indoor Survey App utilises a mixture of Wi-Fi and radio signals in order to track positions, like the technology created by Silicon Valley start-up,WiFiSLAM that was purchased by Apple in 2013, at a price of $20 million.

Apple had also launched in October, the Apple Maps Connect that invited business owners to submit their indoor mapping information. Though this was not for small corner shops, Apple specified that participating venues should be accessible to the general public offering Wi-Fi connectivity throughout and drawing over one million visitors yearly.

According to a report from 9to5Mac, indoor position, as of June last year was added to locations which comprised of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and the Mineta San Jose International Airport. There is a possibility that the Indoor Survey App could be beneficial in extending this availability and make it easy as App Store descriptions notes for venue holders to gather data without installing any special hardware.

Maps Connect

Apple’s mapping attempts was something that was needed in the past and the company had apologized for moving from Google Maps with iOS 6 in 2012. Since the failure, Apple had made several attempts in improving the quality of its maps and had launched the Maps Connect urging small businesses to improve their Maps selecting public venues with more than one million yearly visitors.

With iOS 9, Apple had extended its map offerings including transit directions and like the Indoor Survey tends to include navigation options for indoor locations. The company has made a limited quantity of iPhone apps available through its App Store and had only 16 apps shown on the store page at the time of writing.

Apple seems to have a history of bundling apps together with stock iOS should it feel that the functionality is crucial to a core iOS involvement. This had led to some complaints stating that the basic OS has too many additions.

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