Entries in Maps (4)


Google Updates iPhone Maps So You Can Find Places, Friends

Google(NEW YORK) -- Have you ever gone to a new city and had trouble finding your way around, cursing as you look at pages upon pages of search results to find a restaurant for dinner or just a quick place to grab a cup of coffee and a Danish?

Google hopes to lend a helping hand.

On Tuesday, Google announced an update for its Google Maps app for iPhone to include new search icons that, the company said, will make it easier to find places and look up saved friends’ addresses. Released Tuesday morning, it can now be downloaded from the Apple App Store.

These features have been available already for Android, but iPhone users had to look up the address of a specific destination, and type it into the search bar. Now, users will be presented with icons for restaurants, coffee shops, bars and gas stations, which they can tap to search quickly for nearby locations.

In total, there are 13 different types of places users can search by, including hotels, hospitals and ATMs.

“So if you’re in a rush and need a quick coffee, just tap the search box, then the coffee cup icon, to see the cafes closest to you,” Google said in a blog post.

The new update also makes it possible for users to look up their friends’ addresses by typing their names in the search box. If users have saved their friends’ addresses in Google Contacts, the app will show them in the search results.

The update also integrated Google Contacts into the Google Maps app. This means users who have their friends’ addresses saved in their Google Contacts can now look up where their friends live by simply typing a friend’s name in the app’s search box. The address will then pop up on the map, making it easy to get to that Saturday night house party.

This is the first major update to the Google Maps app since it was released in December.  The road to a user-friendly maps feature has been far from smooth for iPhone and other iOS devices.

When Apple released the iPhone 5 and its iOS operating system in September, it replaced Google Maps with its own Maps app. However, widespread criticism over glitches, including misplaced historic places of interest and jumbled locations, forced the company to bring back Google’s mapping service.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Apple Fires Manager over Troubled Maps App 

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple has been firing top executives, and now another manager is out at Apple.

Richard Williamson, who was tasked with overseeing Apple's mobile mapping service, was fired shortly before Thanksgiving, the New York Times reports.
Even Apple admits its mapping software leaves something to be desired, and has told users to go elsewhere to find directions.  

Apple knew it had problems after it tried to replace Google Maps with its own on the iPhone and iPad, but its own app had streets mislabeled, images missing, and roads where, in real life, there are none.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Google Adds 250,000 Miles of Street View as Apple Tries to Improve

Google(NEW YORK) -- While Apple is apologizing for its new Maps app and trying to mend the glitches, Google is trying to stomp it into the ground.

For those who haven't been following the mobile maps war between the two tech giants: Apple's new maps app in iOS 6, which was released in September, replaced Google Maps for the iPhone and iPad. It was quickly criticized by many users for its lack of certain features -- but more so for mistaken locations and jumbled images.

Thursday Google announced that it is releasing the biggest update ever to its Street View feature, which gives users a view of what places actually look like from cars dispatched by Google to photograph everything they pass. The company has doubled the number of images in Street View images, adding 250,000 miles of road from around the world.

Listed on Google's blog are places where they have added more Street View coverage. Some are in the U.S., but most are abroad, in places like South Africa, Denmark, Japan and Spain.

Google has even added places like the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan and Stanley Park in Vancouver.

"Street View, as you know, is a useful resource when you're planning a route or looking for a destination, but it can also magically transport you to some of the world's picturesque and culturally significant landmarks," Ulf Spitzer, the Street View program manager, wrote.

Apple's new Maps app has been criticized for lacking anything like Street View, which is very helpful when you want to see a place without going there. While Google offers its Maps service via its mobile website for the iPhone, which includes Street View, it doesn't yet offer a full mobile app in Apple's App Store.

Two weeks ago Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, apologized for the glitches in the new maps app. Apple also directed people to Google's Maps and provided instructions on how to create a shortcut to the Google Maps website on the iPhone or iPad home screen. Apple has been releasing updates to its offering, which fix glitches like distorted landmarks.

"Apple should have kept our maps," Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, said Wednesday night at the 92nd Street Y in New York. "The fact of the matter is they decided a long time ago to do its own maps … What Apple has learned is that maps are really hard."

Interviewer Walt Mossberg asked if Google would release a dedicated app for the iPhone. "I don't want to pre-announce products," Schmidt answered.

Google has been rumored to be planning an app for the iPhone before the end of the year, though Schmidt did say that it all would depend on Apple's approval of it.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


MapQuest Integrates Rankings of Local Attractions

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- After 15 years of providing users with the best route between two points, MapQuest now ranks neighborhoods according to such lifestyle criteria as restaurants, bars, shopping and services.

Facing increased competition from Google Maps and Yahoo Maps, the AOL-owned company Thursday launched MapQuest Vibe, or MqVibe, in beta mode. Using algorithms that take into account user votes, searches on MapQuest and cartographic data, MqVibe ranks neighborhoods and local attractions in real time.

The site creates a list of a neighborhood's most popular attractions, including cafes, movie theaters and salons, and then lets users change MapQuest’s rankings by giving each listing a thumbs up or thumbs down vote. Reaching into 27,000 U.S. cities, MapQuest Vibe covers more than 50,000 neighborhoods.  

While the MapQuest Vibe went live Thursday, the iPhone application is not due for a few more weeks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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