AMITIAE - Thursday 15 August 2013

iCloud Beta, Find my iPhone and Maps Data

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


It was reported in some sources this morning that the iCloud beta has been changed and now looks like iOS 7. I had used the beta yesterday in my office and at that time it still had the standard dark interface of the current iCloud. As yet I have not been allowed in to try the iWork beta that is available to some when using my standard iCloud account. I was keen to see if this had changed.

As the beta loads, the screen is that semi-translucent blue-grey that is indeed like the iOS 7 I saw demonstrated on the video of Craig Federighi's presentation at WWDC in June. For my current iCloud account, iWork is still the same as it was before and I must wait to try the beta in this setup.


I did have a look at some other parts of the installation and found the screens to be a little sparse, especially in Calendars. I am not sure about the colours used there either. It does all seem to work and the pages loaded quite quickly, although that may partly be a function of the internet connection.

One feature I always like to examine is Find my iPhone. Three of the devices I have linked to the service were shown on the road map quite quickly, although as is common here, they tend to move about a little as the signal strengths change. As they are sitting beside me, I know that they are stationary.

I then had a look in Satellite view and was a little surprised to see that the BTS station that I can see from my window (Thalad Phlu) was shown on the map and a little further down, Po Nimit; but not Wuttakat or the terminus station at Petchkasem Road, both of which are nearing completion.


At the bottom of the screen was the information that this was from Google, although this changed when I loaded the page again to Cnes/SpotImage. The standard (roads) map clearly indicates "Map data" copyright "Google 2013". The hybrid map shows both Google and Cnes/SpotImage as sources.

On the iPhone I looked at the map used in the Find my iPhone app and saw that the same concrete slabs are displayed where Thalad Phlu station has stood for several months. This is the same in the iPhone Maps app, but (at last) the Bangkok Bank Bukkhalo Branch has been removed from the middle of the Chao Phraya river on the Standard view: and that change has occurred in the last 12 hours, so perhaps Apple is at last getting round to updating some of the information in the app.


Apart from the obvious need for errors to be expunged, the approach of iOS 7 and the update to OS X, which also has a Maps application, would seem to make this fairly important.

Nonetheless, the iCloud beta looks nice overall.


Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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