Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Core Location accuracy improved by Google

The iPhone blog reports that the accuracy of the blue circle (more like a blue gunsight-like crosshair to me) was improved by Google. As I figured out, this is Core Location related, because not only will it improve performance on Maps, but also on all other applications using Core Location.
The accuracy gained is quite impressive. If you don't look at the error, the position itself is quite close to your real position (still, it will be really unreliable, leaving you with an accuracy of around 300m).

The improved accuracy maybe great, however, on the downside, your positional information is being sent to Google in some way, wich might leave the possibility for Google to track you whenever you use something that uses Core Location, which does not have to be the builtin Maps application.
I'm not saying that Google will track you but neither do I say the opposite. The thought of being tracked by -doesn't matter who- and also being sure not being able to avoid this by not using "their" application leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I don't know if it was possible to eavesdrop the traffic that is being sent to Google, but I'll give it a try as soon as possible. Even if, it is uncertain if there will be hints that you are being tracked or not, but I can imagine that you are at least as curious as I am...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2.1 doesn't change anything to GPS users

Yep, that's it. There were no changes at all to the Core Location Framework in the 2.1 firmware. There's quite a nice list in the Macrumors forum that points out the changes quite nicely. In addition to that, I have some other sources (that I don't want to quote here) that confirmed that there were no changes at all.

Too bad, but I don't think that we will see turn-by-turn before the next major release. At least, I'm still confident that there might be such an application before the end of this year, considering the recent firmware release frequency and also Christmas trade.

As always, hope dies last.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Firmware 2.1 available now!

Firmware 2.1 is available now to iPhone users. It reads 5F136 internally.

Besides, there are no new applications available yet, neither are there updates for existing ones that would benefit from the changes to the Core Location Framework that were said to be inside 2.1

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

[Update] No news! - Is it good news?

So, I had a look at the new OS 2.1 SDK. As long as the Core Location Framework is concerned, there is no news. At least according to the documentation, nothing has changed and espechially no new features have been added.
This might be due to a delay in publishing or perhaps in restrictions (maybe the registered and paying developers already have the information?), but it also seems likely that it might have been dropped from the 2.1 release (like the server based notification framework).

Anyway, it's not all said and done, so let's just keep calm and wait for Friday and the release of iPhone OS 2.1 to the public. If there were changes (improvements) in the Core Location framework, we might see updates to some of the navigation apps until the end of September.

Update: I've forgotten to mention that there was no change in the SDK agreement either... :-(
But still, it's not Friday yet.

So, big day was here...

Apple has released the new iPhone SDK, that belongs to iPhone OS 2.1, to the wider public. Unfortunately, the reference documents that are available online haven't changed yet, so it is still kind of uncertain if the new navigation features said to be in 2.1 are really there.
Anyway, I'm already downloading the SDK and have a closer look to that later on.

Beside that, iPod 2.1 has been released already right after the event yesterday, while iPhone users will have to wait until Friday. Will there be a mass-update on navigation apps on Friday? While there - might - be some handy new features in the Core Location framework, I still doubt that all of the developers are eager to release new versions on Friday. Then there also is the reviev process that usually leads to more or less long delays which could also prevent that, even if all the apps affected would be submitted right on time.

So, stay put for a little closer look on the new features...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Big day on tuesday?

There are quite some rumors about what's going to happen on tuesday, September 9. According to Ars Technica, it is somewhat likely that not only iTunes 8, but also iPhone firmware 2.1 will be released.
What we do already know is that it will bring some improvements in the iPhone 3Gs GPS features (which is mostly interesting to developers) that will likely enable developers to bring turn-by-turn applications to the iPhone.

So, will it be the big day? Will we see turn-by-turn very soon, after all?
Well, we will know, but not before Tuesday, I guess.