Apple Is Quietly Creating a New Indoor Mapping System
Apple has discreetly released an RF-based interior positioning app called Indoor Survey, as spotted by developer Steve Troughton-Smith. It appeared recently on the App Store, and the description says you can "drop 'points' on a map within the Survey App [to] indicate your position within the venue as you walk through. As you do so, the Indoor Survey App measures the radio frequency (RF) signal data and combines it with an iPhone's sensor data." That lets you find your position inside a mall, arena or other venue "without the need to install special hardware," according to Apple.
Well this is an Apple app I've not seen before! pic.twitter.com/A3BNYEq6yH— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) November 1, 2015
The app appears to be the fruit of Apple's $20 million purchase of WiFiSlam back in 2013. That technology also used WiFi signals to detect your location within a building. Apple also added features last year that enable developers to get indoor positioning data from from M7 motion sensors on recent iPhones. As other Twitter users pointed out, Indoor Survey may be a way for business users to funnel data to Apple's MapsConnect, an app that lets businesses "add or correct information to help your customers find you in Apple Maps."
Indoor Survey is hidden from the App Store search, and is only available via a direct link. However, it's shown as version 1.0, and available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. We've reached out to Apple for more info.