Apple has today announced the opening of a new development office in Hyderabad, one that will focus on development of Apple Maps for its product lineup. It’ll be located at the Waverock campus in Hyderabad, developed by Tishman Speyer and is poised to create up to 4000 jobs. Apple also announced a new iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru yesterday.
Released in September 2012, Apple Maps replaced Google Maps on iOS and over the last 4 years, even though Apple has continued to improve its mapping data, the product has been severely lacking for India and other countries. For example, Apple Maps was missing the Bandra-Worli sea-link, Mumbai’s iconic cable-stayed bridge for the first ~8 months.
This announcement is being made on day two of Tim Cook’s India visit, the first of which was spent in Mumbai. Commenting on this announcement, he said:
Apple is focused on making the best products and services in the world and we are thrilled to open this new office in Hyderabad which will focus on Maps development. The talent here in the local area is incredible and we are looking forward to expanding our relationships and introducing more universities and partners to our platforms as we scale our operations.
I’m hoping this announcement and the efforts of everyone at the new office will improve the terrible state of Apple Maps in India. Forget features like 3D buildings, Flyover or Transit directions, even basic mapping data like roads and streets are missing. I’ve been sending feedback and submitting corrections through the Maps app for years now, yet I have never seen any corrections made to the data.
Apple also included this in their release:
Across India, Apple supports over 640,000 iOS app developer jobs and other positions related to the iOS ecosystem.
Apple today has announced its ambitious plan to start a Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru, the startup capital of India. This initiative has been planned to “support engineering talent and accelerate growth in India’s iOS developer community,” according to Apple’s press release issued today.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO who is currently on his India visit landed in Mumbai today morning and visited the Siddhivinayak Temple. He says,
India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world. With the opening of this new facility in Bengaluru, we’re giving developers access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers around the world.
This first-of-its-kind center will have Apple experts who will lead briefings and provide one-on-one app reviews for developers in India. It will also provide support and guidance on Swift, Apple’s new programming language that it announced at WWDC 2014.
This Design and Development Accelerator is expected to open in early 2017.
Chandra R Srikanth, reporting for ET Now:
The sources, who declined to be quoted, said while Tim Cook’s key push with Indian government officials will be the sale of refurbished Apple phones here, its initiatives for startups and digital India will also be part of the agenda.
One of the persons ET NOW spoke to said Cook will cover Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad as part of his visit. While he is expected to meet RIL executives in Mumbai, he will be in Hyderabad to firm up plans for its development centre.
Bengaluru, which is where Apple India’s HQ is located, is not on the cards for Tim Cook.
Himank Sharma and Rupam Jain, reporting for Reuters:
Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook will visit India this week and meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the second leg of his Asian tour, two sources familiar with the matter said, as the company seeks to revive sluggish iPhone sales.
Apart from meeting Modi, Cook will also hold meetings with employees and partners, the source said, adding he would fly to India on Tuesday.
Apple has been inching closer towards opening its own retail store in India and the timing of Cook’s visit around recent developments reaffirms that.
On the other hand, Foxconn — the Taiwanese electronics giant and Apple’s supplier was poised to make a $5 Billion investment and setup a manufacturing factory in Maharashtra under Modi’s Make in India program.
James Vincent reporting for The Verge,
Western Digital has now officially purchased flash memory manufacturer SanDisk after regulator approval was passed earlier this week. The agreement between the two storage companies was originally announced last October in a deal worth nearly $19 billion.
My favorite hard drive company acquires my favorite solid state company.
The Times of India is reporting that website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been hacked and data belonging to around 1 Crore customers is feared to have been stolen by the hackers.
An IRCTC source said, “The data is a valuable asset and can be sold to corporations who may use it for targeting potential consumers.” IRCTC officials say the Maharashtra government has been alerted. The state’s additional chief secretary (home), KP Bakshi, confirmed to TOI that the state police had alerted the railways, but refused to give any more details.
A subsidiary of the Indian Railways, IRCTC is the largest e-ticketing portal in the country and holds the record for nearly 13,40,000 tickets booked in a day in April 2015. It’s revenue from ticketing sales was over $3 Billion in 2015.
Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is all set to debut a completely revamped look and feel for Apple Music at the company’s annual developer conference in June:
Apple is altering the user interface of Apple Music to make it more intuitive to use, according to people familiar with the product who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Apple also plans to better integrate its streaming and download businesses and expand its online radio service, the people said. The reboot is expected to be unveiled at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The changes will be accompanied by a marketing blitz to lure more customers to the $10-per-month streaming service. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
According to the report, the redesign is being overseen by content head Robert Kondrk and Trent Reznor, with inputs from Jony Ive’s team, as well as Jimmy Iovine and Eddy Cue.
Following the Beats acquisition in 2014, Apple scrapped the international rollout of iTunes Radio just a few hours before an event where it would have been announced. Employees who had been working on the project for more than a year were told it would be rolled into a new streaming service based on Beats.
Apple has unveiled a fresh new design and layout for its support site yesterday. The new look and feel of the site is very streamlined and looks great. There are different ways you can seek help right on the homepage.
Here’s some good news for the Spider-Man fans out there. For the upcoming Spider-Man re-reboot, which is titled Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sony is apparently letting Marvel Studios call the shots:
In an interview with HeyUGuys, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talked about his company’s relationship with Sony and how the upcoming movie is coming along, revealing that Marvel is calling the creative shots on Homecoming.
“Well, I’ve known all those people [at Sony] for a very long time. Amy Pascal, Tom Rothman, who runs Sony now, I’ve known for years. So, it’s been great,” he explained. “They really are supportive in allowing us to make the creative decisions to make that movie, but they’ve been great partners. So far so good on that movie.”
The Amazing Spider-Man was a complete disaster. If this is indeed true, I’m glad the folks at Sony no longer have their heads up their asses.
It looks like Apple has just flipped the switch that enables Safari Search Suggestions for iOS users in India. Up until now, this feature which was introduced by Apple with iOS 8 and shows you smart suggestions based on what you’ve typed in the search bar, was only available in a select few countries. Now, when you type in some search terms, Safari automatically looks them up and presents you with relevant content. This way, you completely bypass Google search results and can jump directly to where you wanted to go. Of course, you can still completely ignore this and still do a Google search using Safari.
Here’s what the smart suggestions work and look like in Safari on iOS.
Click to enlarge
Some suggestions can be expanded into a detailed view and have the “>” symbol on the right. These, when tapped, display additional information like so:
In case you aren’t seeing this, make sure you have enabled them under Settings > Safari > Safari Suggestions
[h/t @jayeshb for pointing this out]