Apple Might Add Transit Maps in iOS 9

Since Google was dropped as the official provider of map data, Apple hasn’t been able to provide users with any Transit data. Word is that the Transit system should have been added in iOS 8 last year, but it was eventually cut shortly before WWDC 2014.

The Transit service is said to give users the ability to navigate bus, subway and train routes from the official Maps app, similar to what other map apps have built into their features. In addition to the latter, Apple is said to alter the icon size inside Maps for users to easily spot airports, subway and train stations.

Apple was faced with a lot of problems regarding the data and small coverage for the Transit feature, so they decided to pull it right before it was announced. Previous iOS 8 betas are reported to present the feature, but nothing eventually landed in the final iOS releases.

This time around, Apple is said to have added more cities, a new push notification feature and perfected its data. This means that we might see the Transit Maps integrated and revealed at this year’s WWDC.

Besides the Transit feature, Apple is rumoured to be working on some indoor mapping project that would allow users to navigate office buildings, landmarks and other indoor points of interest. But the project is still at its early stages, so it’s highly unlikely we will see something like this added this year.

Thank you 9to5 Mac for providing us with this information

Amazon Home Services Now Available in Major US Cities

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Amazon’s new Home Services options are now available in the US to “major” cities in 41 states. The service lets customers shop for professional services locally from Amazon in categories from tech support to home maintenance.

Amazon rolled out the brand new Home Services, where customers can purchase anything from appliance repair to goats to graze a field. The services are hand-picked professionals by Amazon and offer up front pricing. The job is only paid for when it is done so customer satisfaction should be high and the likelihood of contractors cutting corners will be low. The amount of services offered will vary greatly from city to city, with the largest cities likely having a lot more options than smaller ones.

Source: Engadget

Google Fiber Project Aims to Provide UK Homes with Ultrafast Internet Connection

Google is said to be planning on expanding its Google Fiber services in British cities. The move is said to put a lot of pressure on BT and its upgraded network, having Google offering speeds of up to 10 times faster than what BT currently has to offer.

The corporate giant has reportedly been in talks with a British company by the name of CityFibre, hoping that a partnership between the two will bring the Google Fiber services to UK citizens. However, CityFibre is said to have concerns regarding the partnership with Google.

It is said that CityFibre’s partnership with BSkyB would be threatened if a partnership with Google would be formed, having BSkyB to see Google as a rival in the pay-TV market. Also, BSkyB and TalkTalk are said to be funding a pilot fibre-optics network, reaching 20,000 homes and businesses in York.

Though Google publicly said it will not bring its fibre outside of the US, a source has stated that the company is talking with “people here in the UK and looking at projects”. The move seems to make sense, since the UK has been known to be the biggest market outside of the US.

Google is said to currently provide its fibre optic services in four major US cities, which is said to extend into 34 additional cities this year. While BT’s network is said to rely on copper wire technology for the home-street connection, Google Fiber is said to rely entirely on fibre optic connections.

Thank you Telegraph for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Telegraph

Google Planning on Bringing ‘Fiber’ To 34 Cities In The U.S. By The End Of 2014

It appears that Google is interested in providing its fiber services to even more cities in the US. The company giant has reportedly invited nine metro areas to analyse the requirements of bringing Google Fiber into their ‘neighbourhoods’.

“People are hungrier than ever for faster Internet, and as a result, cities across America are making speed a priority,” Google says. “We’ve long believed that the Internet’s next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds, so it’s fantastic to see this momentum.”

Google has stated that up to 34 cities around the US could be potential candidates for its fiber services. The metro areas stated are Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Portland, Oregon; San Antonio, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Phoenix, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah and San Jose, California. It is said that Google will come up with a list of Fiber cities by the end of this year

“Between now and then, we’ll work closely with each city’s leaders on a joint planning process that will not only map out a Google Fiber network in detail, but also assess what unique local challenges we might face,” Google says.

Potential cities will also join Google’s initiative by providing feedback on their requirements on implementing the Fiber in their home town, along with a map of other service lines, such as gas, electricity, water, etc, that need to be avoided when working on the infrastructure.

This move could also be seen as a treat to competitors such as Comcast, which has cited Google as being a ‘legitimate competitor’. However, Google has stated that nothing is guaranteed at the current stage, but a lot can be learned from successfully implementing the Fiber in some cities and shared with others for future development.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Verge