New Job Listings Point to Continued Work on Transit Options in Apple Maps

Apple today posted two new job listings on its website, seeking to fill engineering positions related to public transit. The company is looking for a Maps Public Transit Engineering Manager and a Public Transit Software Engineer, who will join the Maps team to work on building and improving a Transit Routing platform "at a massive scale..."

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours

Apple's Maps Team Hiring Web UI Designer for 'New Secret Project'

Apple today posted a new job listing seeking a Maps Web User Interface Designer to "design, develop, and maintain complex front-end code for a new secret project." 

While the job listing briefly mentions Maps, it appears that the position could have a broader web development focus. According to the posting, the designer would join a small team that is working on an advanced web platform that will be the backbone of many future Apple services...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours

Google Street View puts you atop world's tallest building

You can now "stand" on top of the world's tallest building without having to face the dizzying heights in person.

In its first-ever collection in the Arab world, Google's Street View took its cameras to the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, dubbed the world's tallest manmade structure at 2,717 feet. The images show off the view from the observation deck on the 124th floor and offer a peek from the building's maintenance unit on the 73rd floor.

The tallest occupied floor in the world rests on the 163rd floor, while the highest swimming pool in the world spashes around on the 76th floor.

The 360-degree panoramic photos were captured over three days using the Street View Trekker, a backpack equipped with its own camera system. The Street View Trolley also lent a hand to snap photos in narrow and crowded spaces.

The new images mark the first time the Street View team has collected images of a skyscraper, Google said in a blog post published Monday.

Source: CNET

As Apple reorients its Maps, Google forges ahead

Apple blew it big-time last year with the botched launch of its own Maps. At its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, the company tried to show that it knows which direction to take Apple Maps.

We won't how know well it works until the fall. But Google -- the leader in online maps -- isn't waiting around.

Google's purchase of Waze -- a deal that Google confirms Tuesday but won't elaborate on -- will, if nothing else, keep a rival from snapping up the hot Israeli startup.

Google reportedly spent more than a literal ton of cash to buy the crowd-sourced traffic mapping company. The price, reportedly more than $1 billion, is no small sum for a company that does much of what Google Maps already does.

What Google is buying
While Google is the undisputed leader in the field, said electronic maps expert Marc Prioleau, Waze comes with three key assets. The app itself, which handles features like social interaction and route mapping; the map database, which contains all the location information; and, said Prioleau, "a really good team of 100 people..."

Read the full story here. Source: CNET


Facebook hires former Apple executive and iOS 6 Maps lead Richard Williamson

Bloomberg reported late on Tuesday thatFacebook recently hired former Apple executive Richard Williamson as a manager in its mobile software group.

A 10 year Apple veteran, Williamson previously served as Apple's Director of iOS Software, a fact which serves to explain the hiring given Facebook's aggressive new push in the mobile space.

While at Apple, Williams oversaw the development of Apple's homegrown Maps app, which, if you recall, debuted to much controversy with the release of iOS 6. Williamson was ultimately shown the door this past November when Eddy Cue decided to shake up Apple's Maps team.

As for Facebook becoming a haven for former Apple employees, news of Williamson's hiring came shortly after it was revealed that the social networking giant had lured former Apple engineer and famed Tweetie inventor Loren Brichter into the Facebook mix.

The fact that Brichter is "helping" out at Facebook is particularly noteworthy because he's an iOS developer legend, of sorts. While he may not be a mainstream name outside of the tech world, his original Tweetie app set a new bar for what Twitter clients could and should be, both in terms of usability and aesthetic design. He's also credited with creating, or at the very least popularizing, common app features such as 'pull to refresh' and the 'cell swipe'.

Perhaps fittingly, word of Brichter's new place of employ first surfaced via a tweet from Mike Matas, a user interface designer at Facebook who previously spent 4 years at Apple working on UI features for a number of Mac and iOS apps.

Bloomberg adds:

Other former Apple employees brought in by Zuckerberg include Greg Novick, a former iPhone manager who helped develop the device's touch interface; Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, software designers who joined when Facebook acquired their company Push Pop Press; and software engineers Scott Goodson, Tim Omernick and Chris Tremblay.

With the recent release of Facebook Home, we now have a clearer idea as to why Facebook has been so keen on snatching up companies and individuals with expertise in mobile software design. That said, the fact that a number of former Apple engineers and designer are now making their way over to Facebook isn't all that surprising. If anything, it underscores Facebook's commitment to deliver a grade-A experience in the mobile space, current reviews of Facebook Home notwithstanding.

[Source: TUAW]

Google Glass maps, translation and more shown off in new vid

Google's futuristic 'Glass' eyewear is slowly but surely coming into focus, with the Big G releasing a new video that gives a clue as to how the space-age pince-nez will function.

In several scenes, real-time GPS is shown to be feeding maps data into the eyepieces of Glass wearers, so you can see where you are on a map while driving or cycling.

The video also suggests that commands are summoned by saying "OK Glass", which calls up more voice-activated commands, including "Google", "Take a picture" and "Record a video".

It seems you won't need your hands for photographical functions then, but the futuristic specs are also going to include touchpad controls, which may come in handy for more sophisticated tasks.

Translation is another touted feature, so you could use Google's voice search to demand instructions on how to say a word in French, for instance.

Google's original 'One Day' trailer for Google Glass was a lot more ambitious, featuring icons that bob in front of your eye and other high-tech treats that likely won't be available when Google Glass eventually goes on sale.

I think it's good to see the search giant talking in more practical terms about what its glasses will be capable of. A new site explains some of its features, and opens the doors to fans who want to be among the first to use the new technology, if you can impress Google with your combination of words, pictures and relevant hashtags.

Better still, it reveals that Google Glass will come in black, grey, white, blue and orange! Hooray for colours!

[Source: CNET]


Fresh on the heels of the biggest entertainment launch of 2012 – Call of Duty®: Black Ops II, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), and their award-winning development studio Treyarch are kicking-off 2013 with the announcement of Revolution, the first massive Downloadable Content (DLC) Pack for the record-setting game.  Since the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, millions of fans have taken-on the game’s ambitious near-future fiction, engaged in over 427 million hours of near-future warfare in non-stop multiplayer action, and survived hordes of Zombies.  Set to launch January 29th first, exclusively on Xbox LIVE® for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft with other platforms to follow, Revolution delivers an unprecedented level of content, and for the first time in Call of Duty® DLC history, a new bonus multiplayer weapon.

"With Black Ops II, the team set out to challenge assumptions about what fans should expect from Call of Duty, and there’s no exception with Revolution," said Mark Lamia, Treyarch's Studio Head.  "It starts with the massive amount of content that Revolution offers: four distinct multiplayer maps, an entirely new Zombies map and new Zombies mode, and a new bonus weapon.  But quantity is just the start — it’s the variety of new gameplay options in Revolution that sets it apart, making it our most compelling DLC offering to date, and a must-play experience for Call of Duty fans."

Revolution takes players to unexpected new locales the world over.  “Downhill” is set in the ski country of the French Alps, where players fight their way down the slopes and through a ski lodge, while avoiding the moving hazards of the mountain’s gondola system.  Opponents must dodge the floodwaters in “Hydro” as they contend for dominance of this hydroelectric dam facility in Pakistan, filled with treacherous spillways.  “Mirage” pits players in competition amidst the sand dunes of a dilapidated luxury resort in the sandstorm-devastated Gobi Desert, where a range of long-distance and close-quarters combat will mix up the action for all play styles.  Finally, “Grind” transports players to the historic birthplace of skateboarding, California’s Venice Beach, where they will battle it out through the ramps and half-pipes of this massive, epic skate park in a multiplayer environment comprised of unique curved architecture requiring players to adapt and learn new ways to take cover.  Each map in Revolutiondelivers a uniquely exhilarating new landscape for tactics and battle.

Revolution also delivers a lethal bonus multiplayer weapon, the “Peacekeeper.”  This powerful SMG, accompanied by its own set of weapon challenges for additional XP, is unlocked to all Call of Duty: Black Ops II fans that pick-up Revolution.

Additionally, Revolution transports players to the Far East, where they will attempt to overcome a zombie infestation inside a series of collapsed skyscrapers towering over the remains of an obliterated Chinese city.  In this new and original Zombies map, “Die Rise,” players will wield powerful, upgradable Wonder Weaponry as well as combine new buildable devices to fight a relentless army of the undead throughout Escher-esque sceneries over a deep and perilous chasm.  And in a twist, Treyarch has added a new game mode, “Turned,” where players can finally complete against each other as a zombie!

Google 'currently working' on Google Maps redirect fix on Windows Phone, explains former stance

As recently as yesterday, Google was explaining its auto-redirect of Google Maps on Windows Phone devices to as a question of incompatibility rather than one of choice. "The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps for the mobile web," Google told us yesterday. Case closed, right? Apparently not.

As The Next Web reports, Google's changing its tune today, and is working on a redirect as we speak. "We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users," the statement reads. "In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that's why there is no redirect for those users," it continues. The kicker? "Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users." So! It looks like Windows Phone users employing Internet Explorer for Google Maps will soon be back in business. As of right now, we're still seeing the redirect in place, but feel free to let us know if you're already seeing the fix enabled!

[Source: Engadget]

Garmin smartphone apps updated with Foursquare integration, location-sharing via Glympse

Garmin's StreetPilot Onboard and Navigon apps were recently updated to include public transport information and a parking finder, and a just-announced refresh will add even more navigational goodies: namely, integration with Foursquare and the location-sharing service Glympse. The Foursquare tie-in will help users find venues and access special deals -- and once a Foursquare account is linked, checking into locations can be done directly through the apps. Glympse, on the other hand, lets users share their location with contacts via email and text, with info on current location, ETA and even speed. Finally, the update brings iCloud support for syncing saved destinations across various Apple devices. Perhaps in light of the holiday hustle ahead of us, Garmin is offering the apps for 25 percent off until January 7th through App Store or Google Play. (Of course, the update is a free download for those who already have them.)

[Source: Engadget]

MapsOpener jailbreak tweak sets Google Maps as default maps app

Some iPhone users who’ve tried the new Google Maps already will want to use the app instead of the often criticized Apple Maps. Sadly, Apple doesn’t yet offer a way to make Google Maps the default application, which would allow iOS users to choose which mapping app opens when mapping URLs are clicked or using Siri.

As expected the crafty folks in the jailbreak community have already cooked up a new tweak called MapsOpener that will make Google Maps the default. You can check out the tweak courtesy of Hashbang Productions and available via Cydia’s Big Boss repo.  As we told you earlier this week, jailbreak tweak FullForce will also make Google Maps scale to the iPad’s large screen. Check out MapsOpener demoed below.

 [Source: 9to5Mac]

Google brings indoor maps to desktop web browsers

It may not be quite as practical as the mobile version if you find yourself lost in the mall this holiday season, but those looking to plan their shopping route ahead of time can now finally take advantage of Google's indoor maps in their desktop web browser. That new addition, just rolled out today, does come with a bit of a catch, though: the desktop version of indoor maps is only offering the main floor of buildings for the time being, with no word yet on when the ability to view additional levels will be added (something that can currently be done in the Android app). Of course, the availability of indoor maps is still quite a bit more limited than some of Google's other map offerings, but it does now include over 10,000 floor plans in a number of different countries.

[Source: Engadget]

Google updates Maps and Earth with more high-res and 45-degree images, encourages wanderlust

Google has expanded its high-res Maps and Earth offerings to cover a whopping 164 cities and 108 countries / regions, while its brand new 45-degree imagery is now available for 60 cities (40 in the US and 20 abroad) -- the list is long, so check out the source to discover all the locations. The photos are pretty stunning; highlights include a live look at the Space Needle's orange paint job for its 50th anniversary, an overhead look at Austrian bridges and an angled view of the Thun Castle in Switzerland. Now, excuse us as we stare longingly at these gorgeous vistas -- it is Friday, right?

[Source: Engadget]