On December 11, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals Apple's new iOS 8 Maps App Night Mode coming to CarPlay and working in sync with special in-vehicle conditions. On one hand this is a patent fulfilled with night mode for maps debuting with iOS 8. Yet on the other hand it is a patent application that foretells of the Maps App night mode working differently with vehicles using CarPlay.
Apple was busy in the summer of 2013 acquiring several mass transit app companies such as HopStop, Locationary and most notably Embark that had a great app for customizing trips in your city or in a new city you're visiting. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their future mass transit "Commute App" that's now in the works.
On October 16, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an invention relating to future iDevices and CarPlay that will be able to use seamless outdoor to indoor map transitioning. The mapping system could start with in-car navigation to a parking lot and then transition to an indoor parking map and eventually further transition to the inside your destination, be it the inside of a mall, a school, a convention center and beyond. In 2013 Apple acquired WifiSLAM and this invention likely borrows some of their technology.
On September 4, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new visual reminder system for the iPhone that could incorporate pop-up maps as a handy reminder of the location of your appointment. Our report also provides you with links to several other mildly interesting patents published today covering varying technologies. One is about an interesting sapphire process (which we covered earlier in a European filing weeks ago) to strengthen the material. The others cover camera related technologies, integrated pressure sensors for displays and a way to make mobile device displays even lighter and brighter. The last one covers a possible new Maps UI that will use a new virtual reality gimmick allowing users to experience a form of X-Ray vision effect.
Apple's intent to create a parking app for future iDevices began to surface with a pair of inventions (one, two) that we reported on back in 2013. Since that time there have been two follow-up patents in 2014 including this one and an important second one that we'll point to later in this report. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's third patent application of the year that relates to finding your car or any vehicle in an outside parking lot, a marina, inside a Parkade and beyond. Last Saturday we posted a report titled "Apple and Google Headed for an Indoor Location Services War" illustrating that indoor location services are going to go far beyond just parking applications. Yet for now, we have to wonder if Apple's new parking location app will make it into iOS 8 for the iPhone 6. The good news is that we'll get the answer to that question in just a few weeks' time.
ZDNet's David Braue posted a great report last week titled "Apple Maps' worldview is now better than Google Maps." In his summary Braue stated that Apple "had its share of problems, but Apple Maps is back with a vengeance. Powered by some jaw-dropping 3D graphics and enjoying an aggressive multi-platform strategy, Apple is finally set to redefine our geospatial expectations – and take Google down a few notches." Yes, Apple's mapping team is hungry and back with a vengeance and today the US Patent Office published a whopping 28 mapping inventions from Apple with many of them covering those jaw-dropping 3D graphics and so much more.