Lots of Apple patents today. Earlier in the day, we told you guys about a patent that suggested Apple was going to add tiny projectors to future iOS devices. This time, we have some information on some possible Apple software plans. In particular, how Apple is looking to simplify the user experience when using the Maps application.
So basically the patent explains that Apple believes that current smartphone maps apps are not up to par. The company feels as though, with the smaller screen real estate available on smartphones, current mapping applications are too crowded and complex. That is why Apple has patented Schematic Maps, a mapping application with “dynamic emphasizing and exaggerating.”
According to AppleInsider, who first broke the story:
“Apple’s solution would dynamically generate maps for users based partially on the attributes of the display on which they are presented, to optimize for that screen size. By emphasizing certain landmarks or roads, Apple could allow users to glean necessary information more quickly and accurately than with a heavily populated map.”
In other words, Apple will analyze what is most useful for the user (routes, landmarks, etc) and distort, alter or remove elements from the map to emphasize some things while discarding others. Leave it to Apple to decide what’s good for us…
But seriously, I think this is a pretty cool idea. I’m often frustrated by the various map apps out there now. I mean, it’s maddening to have to stop whatever it is you’re doing, zoom in as far as possible, and hold your phone two inches from your face in order to tell that you did, in fact, take the third left turn instead of the fourth. And while this new system won’t technically display an accurate map of reality, it will get you to the movie theater before the previews start, and really, what more do you want out of a map application?
So I’d give it a try. If it works, great. If not, there’s more than enough map applications available to find something that does. How do you guys feel about this? Do you trust Apple to provide you with the right details to aid you in your quest, or would you rather decide what you should and shouldn’t see for yourself? Comments and tweets are much appreciated.