Apple's ongoing shopping spree plus its fresh batches of mobile device technology should ensure that the upcoming iPhone 5S and the phablet-size iPhone 6 would hit store shelves likely overloaded with killer features.
It appears that the company is playing catch up with Google Map and such efforts were recently implied by two successive acquisitions of navigational services - the U.S.-based HopStop and Locationary, which is tech start up operating from Canada.
The first purchase was reported by Bloomberg and confirmed by AllThingsD. HopStop is poised to add travel directional services to the Map application included with the iOS 7 mobile platform.
The new service, according to Apple Insider, will expand the commuting options currently available to iPhone and iPad users. It is understood that on re-launch date, HopStop will be initially available to iOS device owner located in the United States.
Covering more than 300 U.S. cities, the new application will offer directional routes for travellers on bus, train, subway, private cars and bicycles. Pedestrians will also benefit from the new iOS 7 application, Apple Insider said.
Locationary, on the other hand, is an online-based business directory with focus on local operations, which Apple would likely upgrade to include U.S.-wide and international listings in future iterations
Data employed by the service currently relies on crowd-sourcing.
And these new applications will be joined by Apple's fresh technology that aims to improve image processing techniques using face detection and optical character detection (OCD). In essence, the new patent fills in the gap found in the current image orientation detection, in portrait or landscape, via the accelerometer sensor.
The invention, according to Patently Apple, "is about image orientation detection techniques that are designed to handle the processing of images captured by handheld personal electronic devices oriented in a wide range of positions."
Final deployment is seen to span iOS and OSX devices so the camera-based enhancement should be expected not only for iPhones and iPads but also Mac notebooks and desktops.
The chance is high that these new power features will be packed with the looming iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 debuts, the respected release dates of which rumoured to happen on September 2013 and Q1 2014 respectively.