Fully Charged: Apple’s mapping breakthrough, Maxis studio shuts and new Avengers trailer

All the tech and entertainment news to keep you informed this fine Thursday

Apple’s innovative mapping feature

Apple seems to have a lot going on in the world of transportation right now, what with hundreds of people reportedly working on an electric (and potentially self-driving) car project. And here’s another neat revelation: the company was just awarded a patent for a mapping system that can tell you when a route has potentially poor cellular reception.

The 2012 application shows a system that can suggest alternate routes based on cell quality, in case you need to stay connected and/or make calls while driving. It uses data collected from other drivers, either stored or live-updated, and then pumps that info to your smartphone or in-car dashboard.

It could be a sweet addition to CarPlay (pictured) and Maps on iOS, or perhaps even an eventual Apple smart car. Or maybe it’ll be nothing at all, as many tech patents don’t yield proper products or public releases, but it’s still a neat and potentially useful idea.

[Source: Gigaom]

The new Avengers trailer

So Avengers: Age of Ultron is shaping up pretty well, it appears - no surprise, considering the quality of the original and the fact that Joss Whedon is still guiding the ship. The third trailer may be the best to date, offering even more action and quips that shine a light on what to expect from the superhero sequel. It’s out on 24th April in India.

[Source: YouTube]

EA shuts down main Maxis studio

As the Game Developers Conference celebrates game creators this week in San Francisco, legendary studio Maxis in nearby Emeryville had little reason for positivity yesterday: publisher Electronic Arts, which acquired the team in 1997, announced that it had shuttered the developer.

The Maxis brand and game series like The Sims and SimCity will continue on via other EA developers, of course, but the house that spawned some of the most iconic simulation games of all time is no more. It’s far from the first independent studio that EA has purchased and then eventually shut down, but Maxis lasted a lot longer than most. For those keeping score, Kotaku has a full list of former EA acquisitions that met a similar fate.

[Source: Kotaku]