Apple granted two patents regarding its Maps app

Apple has been granted two patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office regarding its Maps app for Mac OS X and iOS. 

Patent number 9,194,717 is for “providing transit information.” It involves determining transit routes through crowd-sourcing, for determining an estimated time of arrival (ETA) of a vehicle of the transit route at a given location. It would also remind users about times to catch a ride on a vehicle of the transit route. 

What’s more, user devices may remember which wireless network-enabled transit vehicles are important to their users, and accordingly obtain location information for these transit vehicles to provide live relevant transit updates to the users. 

Here’s how it works: a server receives signal source information about wireless signal sources detected by user devices, including information about a first wireless signal source detected by some devices. The server determines that the first wireless signal source is moving. The server determines that the first wireless signal source is associated with a public transit route upon determining that the signal source information satisfies one or more selection criteria. The server stores information associating the first wireless signal source with the public transit route as transit movement data corresponding to the public transit route.

Patent number 9,195,721 is for a “mobile device with localized app recommendations.” This invention would allow your iPhone or iPad to recommend apps based on your location (which would, at least in some instances involve the Maps app). Using your location, a localized app ranking database with app hotspot data can be queried with location data representing the location of interest. App recommendations can be received and displayed on the iOS device. Icons for apps that are relevant to the location of interest can be visually distinguished from other apps.