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Apple is using drones to catch Google Maps




Apple Maps has gotten much better since its 2012 launch, but it still isn’t quite as built out as Google’s rival Google Maps.
Thanks to drones, that soon may change.
According to a new report from
Bloomberg, Apple is said to be using the aerial robots as well as some indoor navigation tech to improve its app to better compete with Google.
Apple, like Google and Microsoft’s Bing, currently uses cars equipped with cameras and sensors to travel and record mapping data. By switching to drones the company could conceivably record this data faster and thus more quickly update and improve Maps.
More specifically, Apple is said to want to use the drones to examine street signs, monitor road changes as well as see if areas are under construction, according to the report. That data would then be sent over to Apple’s Maps team who would, in turn, put it into the app to give users the most up-to-date information about the area they were in.
Apple’s move toward drones isn’t indicative of any future commercial drone plans. The report notes that an application filed with the Federal Aviation Administration late last year stated that Apple planned to use drones from manufacturers such as DJI and Aibotix.
Indoor mapping is another area said to be in the company’s sights. This would allow Apple to stay competitive with Google, which has been pursuing a similar idea to allow people to benefit from mapping apps inside venues such as sports arenas, airports and shopping malls. Last year Apple purchased indoor mapping startup, according to Bloomberg, and in 2013 bought a similar company called WiFiSlam.
Apple released an indoor mapping app called Indoor Survey last November that allows registered businesses to use their iPhones to help improve indoor positioning by using WiFi, radio frequencies and sensors such as GPS.

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