If the reports in 9to5Mac are to be believed Apple aims to move away once and for all from Google Maps with the release of iOS6. All clues available through iOS 6 concepts at the moment logically point to the same conclusion. Apple bought mapping companies such as Placebase and Poly9. Last year Apple bought the 3D mapping firm C3 Technologies. Apple has been known historically to buy out companies that are leaders in a particular technology that Apple might be interested in. This is to ensure that what they create is exclusively available for iOS users.
What will set this new mapping and navigation application apart from the market leaders is the new 3D mode. Though the 3D mode will not be enabled by default, it will be obvious and easily visible on the interface. A lot like the current traffic and pin buttons which is available on Google maps at the moment. This 3D mode is the technology bought to the high table by C3 technologies. It is based on de-classified missile target algorithms which is used by missiles to precisely track and destroy targets while avoiding other structures in an urban environment.
The Apple mapping service will probably be similar in appearance to the Google Maps application which we all use. However it will definitely improve on it with a faster, cleaner and much more reliable user experience. It will also include a new icon which is based on the now famous Infinite Loop Headquarters in Cupertino.
It has been fairly obvious to tech pundits and industry observers that Apple has been working to reduce its dependence on Google in the mapping domain as suggested by iOS 6 concepts. Their acquisition of companies and hiring experts in the field has not been as secretive as they would like. Android which is developed by Google is a direct rival to the iOS so it is understandable that Apple wishes to ends it reliance on almost all things with a Google seal on it. They have already moved the mapping development in house and are using the GPS data of its users to create the database and structure which is required.
The first step has already been taken with the release of iPhoto for iOS in March. The Photo journal feature of the application makes use of the OpenStreetMap and other services. People who have had access to the new mapping app and industry insiders who do not wish to be named have claimed that the features will blow our mind.
All eyes are on Apple with the expected preview of iOS 6 at Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. You can expect to get your hands on this ground breaking 3D mapping service and iOS6 along with the new iPhone hardware sometime this year.
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