Presstitutes working for the Tame Apple Press are getting all excited about a feature which will help the absent minded remember where they left their car.
The news has been around since September, but like many things Applish, like the iWatch, nothing really happened. Despite its software compontant it was not mentioned during WWDC last week either.
However some new icons found inside the Maps application indicate that the feature was in development at some point and is likely still be worked on.
What it appears to be is it is testing a tool for its Maps app that, with the M7 chip, could analyse when your car is parked. When you park your car, the iPhone will register the car's location. Now when you return to the parking lot, your iPhone will be able to help you assist with finding your car since it knows the vehicle's location.
Apple's latest mapping software contains six images dedicated to the parked car location feature, each a purple pin with a car-shaped glyph. It's very likely that this is one of the many features cut from what is now the first public beta of iOS 8 late in development.
The idea has a few problems. Firstly it involves the use of Apple maps which is a little like relying on the appearance of a London bus. It can't find an Apple store, or its own backside with both front and rare sensors. It could tell you your car is in St Petersburg, or in the middle of the ocean when it is in your garage. Secondly, if it is GPS based it will have some trouble telling you which floor your car is parked on, which is half the problem when you lose your second most valuable asset. However the biggest issue is that Google has already got a very good system of finding a parked car and has had it for nearly three years.
Last year, Google Maps for Android began introducing floor plans of shopping malls, airports, and other large commercial areas. Nokia, has an indoor positioning system, but using actual 3D models, rather than 2D floor plans. Two years ago Broadcom released a new chip (BCM4752) that supports indoor positioning systems.
So all up Apple is coming so late to the party, it might has well have not bothered showing up, and yet it is still being touted as a super-cool innovation.