iPhone 7 to get iGPS? Apple secretly buys Coherent Navigation, Inc.

New iPhone 7 feature helps you find yourself, precisely

apple coherent navigation maps

Apple made yet another mapping acquisition. This time, it's a little company called Coherent Navigation. What does this say about the iPhone 7 (or 6S, if you insist)? 

The startup has an interesting technology that integrates GPS signals with other references -- to greatly increase the accuracy of positioning data. In other words, a future iPhone could know where you are to the nearest inch or so.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get lost. Not to mention: How Apple has already improved Maps (kinda)

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Eric Slivka broke the story:

Apple appears to have acquired Coherent Navigation, a Bay Area GPS-related firm founded in 2008 by engineers from Stanford and Cornell.

[It focused on] High Integrity GPS ("iGPS"), a system that combines signals from the traditional mid-earth orbit GPS satellites with those from the low-earth satellites of...Iridium to offer greater accuracy and precision...greater jam resistance...accurate to within centimeters.

Coherent Navigation would be just the latest in a long string of mapping-related acquisitions Apple has made over the last several years...since a rough transition away from Google Maps...in 2012.  MORE

Mike Isaac confirmed the story:

Apple [has] purchased Coherent Navigation, a Bay Area global positioning company. [It] was a small firm that focused on creating commercial navigation services.

[It] worked on high-precision navigation systems [better than] consumer-grade global positioning systems...accurate to within three to five meters.

Terms of Apple’s acquisition of Coherent Navigation were not disclosed.  MORE

And Sarah Buhr contextualizes the story:

Apple’s Maps...still lags behind Google Maps. Nearly twice as many iPhone owners prefer to get directions and look up addresses on the Google version...according to recent ComScore numbers.

Apple has not divulged when it bought Coherent Navigation, or for how much, but...Paul G. Lego, Coherent Navigation’s CEO [has] been working for Apple for the last 5 months.  MORE

So Rene Ritchie wrangles some photons thuswise:

Maps and related technologies are part of the services organization run by...Eddy Cue. Previous acquisitions include PlaceBase, Poly9, C3 Technologies, Pin Drop, WifiSLAM, Locationary, Hopstop, Embark, and Broadmap.

Coherent Navigation and its team, rather than aiding to round out Apple's offering, seem better aligned to make existing services even better.  MORE

Meanwhile, this pseudonymous commentator reckons improvements can't come a moment too soon:

For me it’s still pretty terrible, at this point I just can’t trust it.

Every time I set a destination or looked up an address I would open Google maps just to make sure Apple maps was accurate and 50% of the time it was wrong so I stopped using it. Like even major business are not located properly...how does this happen?

I honestly don’t see any reason to use it when Google Maps are so much better, the only thing Apple Maps has going for it is the design/UI.  MORE

But Greg Reamo summons a plague on both their houses:

Apple Maps took me across town for no reason. Google Maps told me my destination was in the middle of the interstate.

[Nokia HERE] worked well so far. I want to like Apple Maps so maybe this will help.  MORE

And Finally…
So what has Apple been doing to improve Maps? Oh...

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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