New patent suggests Apple may introduce smart systems to its mapping app

Apple's mapping efforts have been getting the cold shoulder from users ever since Apple Maps was announced in 2012 along with the release of iOS 6. That's largely due to the app's glaring mistakes including not showing Stratford Upon Avon and labeling a 35-acre farm in Ireland as an airfield.

Nonetheless, the company's ambitions in this segment apparently have not been dampened as it is reportedly building Maps from scratch with improved accuracy and performance. Today, a patent claim filed in March this year surfaced online, shedding more light on Apple's plan for its mapping service.

The patent filing is basically a continuation patent which describes the changes made to the original application and reveals that Apple's prior claims have been canceled. On the other hand, it also indicates that the Cupertino-based company is working on a new travel app. Here's the patent's abstract:

Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on a computer storage medium, for retrieving local information on a user device include detecting itinerary information stored by a first application on a user device, and identifying a travel destination based on the detected itinerary information. The travel destination is communicated to a second application executable on a user device, and the travel destination is stored in association with the second application. The second application is adapted to retrieve local information based on an identified geographic location, and local information for the travel destination is provided through the second application in response to a user interaction with the second application and based on a triggering threshold associated with the itinerary information.

While it may seem that Apple is developing an entirely new app, it's also possible that the company may just be planning on adding new smart features to Maps.

This specification relates to providing dynamic city search suggestions based on travel itineraries, including suggesting locations to search in one application based on travel plans identified in a different application.

The patent application also describes a new capability that will allow for the sharing of travel data between devices owned by different users. While there's no guarantee that patents like this will make it to a final product, it still shows Apple's persistent effort to build a mapping app on a par with Google Maps, especially after having made 2.5 million corrections to its Maps service over the past few years since launch.

Source: Patently Apple

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