Apple rarely suffers from embarrassment, but a few months ago after much anticipation, the tech giant released its version of maps and took the war to Google and failed miserably.
After Apple released the mapping service and removed Google Maps from the stock apps list, bad reviews and complaints followed as the service just wasn’t up to scratch. The final straw was when Australian police officially declared the maps as “Life Threatening”, prompting Apple to allow Google Maps back into the app store for download.
Over the weekend, WSJ reported that Apple acquired WifiSLAM, a company started by ex-Google employees and uses WI-FI spots to pinpoint your location from inside a building. Sounds silly, but imagine going to a large shopping centre and being able to use the mapping service to find your way to certain shops or finding your way around big airports or stations with 2.5m accuracy.
Interestingly WifiSLAM not only offer indoor navigation, but they also specialise in proximity-based social networking which could mean that when you are walking around the same shopping centre, you may get notifications of offers at shops, cafes and restaurants as you walk.
This is a sure signal that Apple are pushing to bring the maps back, maybe in time for the rumoured iPhone 5S launch in the summer.