Apple’s Eddy Cue still appears to be testing out Foursquare, and his activity on the location-based social recommendation app continues to spark speculation that Apple could be considering partnering with the company to help improve iOS 6 Maps.
Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, has been in charge of Apple’s Maps since October’s Apple executive shakeup, which saw Scott Forstall and John Browett booted from the company while Cue, along with Craig Federighi, Jony Ive and Bob Mansfield, took on extra responsibilities.
So Cue’s interaction with Foursquare, which allows users to check in to various locations and venues to help others find good places to visit, could be seen as an indication that Apple is interested in implementing the service in future iterations of iOS.
Since signing up to Foursquare at the end of last year, Cue has checked in to eight locations, including Apple’s Cupertino HQ on 12 December. While Cue’s check-ins remains private, his tips are available to the public.
A week ago, Cue wrote that Squeeze In’s breakfast omelettes are the best in Tahoe, but wasn’t so impressed by Italian restaurant Il Fornaio the previous week, writing: “Food and service were horrendous” on Foursquare following his meal.
If Apple and Foursquare do partner up to improve the iOS 6 mapping service, which was met by wide criticism when it launched in September and led CEO Tim Cook to publish an apology for its poor quality, it could bring more accurate point of interest data, and improve the quality of location information that appears when searching for a particular venue or business.
The Wall Street Journal has backed up speculation about a possible Apple-Foursquare partnership, suggesting that “people familiar with the talks” claim that Apple is “in early discussions to integrate local data from Foursquare Labs Inc. into its mapping application… as the company continues to build an arsenal of local data to try to take on Google.”
Following rumours about Apple and Foursquare’s discussions, reports emerged claiming that Apple was looking to acquire crowd-sourced navigation app Waze to help fix iOS 6′s Maps app, but the alleged negotiations between the two companies were soon exposed as ‘fabricated’, with Foursquare being highlighted again as a more likely partner for Apple.
In December, Google launched its maps app in the iOS Store, a welcome addition for iOS users, who downloaded the app more than 10 million times within 48 hours of its release. The app also sparked a 29 percent increase in iOS adoption.