Apple Reveals Patent Pending Maps App Advancement that Integrates Hail-Riding & Table Reservation Services
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to advancing their Maps app by coordinating and integrating third party ride-hailing table reservation apps. Apple invested $1 billion in China's Ride-Hailing service called Didi Chuxing back in May 2016. Four months later Apple filed for today's patent pending invention regarding ride-hailing.
his past August it was revealed that Apple was working on a shuttle service for Apple employees going from one campus to another. The system is reportedly called PAIL (Pal Alto to Infinite Loop). The project could of course veer off to include testing the software that Apple is now trying to patent for hail-riding and table reservations, if not other kinds of related software like that as part of their "autonomous systems" road map.
Apple notes that one of the most popular features of modern mobile devices is the navigation application. People often use navigation applications on the mobile devices determine the best route to a destination even if they know how to get to their destination. The typical navigation application can provide route information, traffic information, and even information about businesses, such as restaurants, grocery stores, department stores and the like. Some navigation applications even provide information about public transit options, like buses, trains, etc.
Some other popular features of modern mobile devices come from other applications installed on a mobile device. For example, one popular type of application is that of a ride hailing service that allows users to arrange transportation for a fee on their mobile device. Another popular type of application is that of a table reservation service that allows users to reserve a table at a restaurant. Another popular type of application is that of a restaurant queuing reservation service that allows users to reserve a place in line at a restaurant.
When using these applications, the user often is required to switch back and forth between the navigation application and the ride hailing application and/or the table reservation application. For example, the user may use the navigation application to find a destination and then switch to the ride hailing application to find transportation to the destination and/or table reservation application to reserve a table at a restaurant located at the destination. However, switching back and forth between the navigation application and the ride hailing application and/or the table reservation application can be time consuming, confusing, and burdensome.
In some implementations, Apple's invention is about a navigation application that can integrate third party services into the navigation application in an easy to use and convenient manner. For example, the navigation application can receive user input indicating that the user is interested obtaining transportation from a ride hailing service.
In response to receiving the indication, the navigation application can invoke an application extension for a third party ride hailing application. The navigation application and ride hailing application can then communicate to provide the ride hailing service through the navigation application. Similarly, the navigation application can receive user input indicating that the user is interested reserving a table from a table reservation service. In response to receiving the indication, the navigation application can invoke an application extension for a third party table reservation application. The navigation application and table reservation application can then communicate to provide the table reservation service through the navigation application.
Particular implementations provide at least the following advantages. The user of the navigation application does not have to leave the navigation application to hail a ride. The user of the navigation application does not have to leave the navigation application to reserve a table. The user can compare rates of different ride hailing services in a single graphical user interface.
About the Patent Figures: Apple's patent FIG. 1 noted above illustrates an example system for integrating third party applications into a navigation application; FIG. 5 illustrates an example graphical user interface for presenting a message about sharing route information with a third party application; FIG. 9 illustrates an example graphical user interface for viewing details about a ride transaction; FIG. 18 illustrates an example graphical user interface for presenting a message about sharing restaurant information with a third party application.
Apple's patent application was filed back in Q3 2016. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
Side Note: While Apple has introduced these apps separately within Maps, I'm not sure that the two work hand in glove as this latest patent suggests. If they do, then this is a patent fulfilled. After reviewing all of the patent figures (not present in this report) for a second time this afternoon, I was unable to find one that had a "common interface" covering Hail-Riding and Table Reservations. So it would appear that this is a patent recently fulfilled with Maps in iOS 11.
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