Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Urban Routing: Sources tell 9to5Mac that Apple (AAPL) will include mass transit data in the next version of its Maps app. Apple has been working to enhance the functionality of Apple Maps since its troubled launch in 2012, when glitches and errors in the app prompted an apology from CEO Tim Cook. In the past two years, Apple has purchased a number of mapping data startups — including Embark, BroadMap and HopStop — which provided public transportation systems data. Sources say that iOS 8 Maps will offer mass transit directions, guiding users through public bus, subway and rail routes. The mass transit directions will initially be available for only major cities, but will be expanded over time to encompass other U.S. municipalities. The built-in transit navigation function will become an option alongside Walking and Driving directions. The addition of integrated transit data is meant to boost Apple Maps competitiveness against rival Google (GOOG) Maps.
Vision: Foster+Partners founder and Chairman Norman Foster has told Architectural Record that the circular design for Apple’s new headquarters building drew inspiration from both Stanford University’s campus and public squares in London. Foster said that initial plans for the campus “morphed into a circular building that would enclose the private space in the middle—essentially a park that would replicate the original California landscape, and parts of it would also recapture the orchards of the past.” The circular building — designed to house 12,000 Apple workers — will cover less space on the 176-acre site compared to the former Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) complex of buildings, which have now been torn down. Foster also pointed out that the new Apple headquarters will feature a buried parking lot for employee vehicles. “You won’t look out of your window and see row after row of parked cars,” he commented.
Big Draw: An industry report says that Apple’s iTunes Radio is now has the third biggest audience of any streaming music service in the U.S., Fortune notes. According to Edison Research, iTunes Radio now has more than 20 million users in the U.S., about 8% of total streaming music listeners. Online Pandora (P) and Clear Channel‘s (CCO) iHeart Radio have more listeners. iTunes Radio is expected to surpass iHeartRadio’s number of listeners by the close of 2014. Apple launched iTunes Radio alongside iOS 7 in September. iTunes Radio has now surpassed Spotify and Rhapsody among U.S. users. While iTunes Radio is growing in popularity, it still has some way to go before it challenges Pandora, which has 80 million users.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.