Apple may finally be providing their own mapping solution in iOS 6

Apple may finally be providing their own mapping solution in iOS 6

Summary: Apple has always included Google Maps in their iOS products and left high end navigation and mapping up to 3rd party developers. It looks like Apple may finally be stepping up and trying to take on Google Maps Navigation found on Android devices.


Apple has always included a version of Google Maps on their iOS products and for basic mapping and GPS needs it has been fine. However, Google Maps Navigation on Android blows it out of the water for actual navigation needs and I always found it odd that Apple hasn't tried to beat Google in this area. There are excellent 3rd party applications that took on this role, but according to 9to5Mac it looks like Apple may finally be stepping up to the plate and launching their own mapping product in iOS 6.

This is still a rumor since we won't hear about iOS 6 until the WWDC in June, but it makes perfect sense to me and the trusted sources 9to5Mac cites appear to have provided some solid information. It looks like the service will be similar to Google Maps, but with some advanced 3D functions thanks in large part to recent companies Apple purchased to develop their mapping solution.

There is no information on whether or not this new app will support turn-by-turn navigation, but if Apple wants to take on Google Maps Navigation then they need to get it in there eventually. Do you want to see this or do you prefer to use your 3rd party application?

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Google, Mobile OS, Mobility

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  • Lots of Wantabee Solutions!

    Google Maps Voice Turn by Turn is a stellar App on Android and it's mapping history goes back to the Iraqi War when it's Satellites were of immense help and Iraq became the most targeted land mass on earth as Earth Viewer 3D by Keyhole. It became one of Google's first major acquisitions and still holds the title as the Best Mapping Solution on Earth!

    Whether Apple or any competitor can catch up to it's features overnight, remains to be seen. Street View has still yet to be duplicated by any competitor. Though they all try and Microsoft has even been caught using Google's Satellite images. But that's the point; unless you have the infrastructure and history to build on, any competitor will always be an also ran wantabee in the mapping game!

    That's why I never leave the door without my Samsung Galaxy SII in hand while my wife carries her iPhone 4s in her purse and the GSII after being docked is completely hands free on maps with voice actions and voice directions delivered like no other device can today! .....and Siri only wishes it could mesh with, still stuck in my wife's purse as we pull up to the door on my SGII Google Swiss Army Knife Street View Visuals and GPS Turn by Turn voice directed path to destination!

    Give it 5 yrs and they may finally have a competitor that can match the Google Android Experience! the iPhone for some other uses, but MAPS? Forget about it!!!
    • You never know???

      Apple has been know to upset markets and even define them in some cases. They usually don't do, half-a$$, it will interesting to see what they bring to the table.

      I'm guessing, KronJohn you may be surprised when the day comes :)
      • Go Get 'Em!

        While applaudable, just don't expect me to use it until it has close to Google level accuracy and functionality. The last thing I need is another map app that is not up to the minute accurate.
      • hmm...

        So Apple's Map app doesn't do turn by turn for 5 years now and it's not half-a$$ed?

        Actually I think Apple did a lot of half-a$$iness just to make people to upgrade.
      • wasn't half-a$$ed at the time

        It was a major selling point in 2007 because there was nothing as good at the time. I agree an overall is sorely overdue, however.
      • ?

        Actually, in terms of features and functions, every iteration of Apple's smartphone has been half-a$$ed in comparison to the competition ever since the release of the original motorola droid in 2009.
      • you never know???

        Yeah, they only do half-a$$ed when it comes to patching security holes.
      • Droid?

        Hey, Trob -- What version of Android are you running? What's the most stable ROM you've installed? What are your favorite memory manager and process manager apps? What's the best virus/malware protection app? What App stores are the best to find what you're looking for?
    • Google's satellites

      So, Google owns spy satellites? How interesting...
    • You touch on a HUGE point

      Building a mapping app is relatively easy, compared to getting the data. Apple switched from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap as their source, I heard (because Google started charging for GMaps usage above a certain amount - a move that could even be viewed as aimed at Apple, in part). But unless they can invest heavily in better data (licensing it, that is), they're ultimately not going to compete.
  • Easy upgrade

    If Apple do this right they could make the new API a superset of the current MapKit framework meaning that all apps that use maps could be switched to the new API with a trivial update. Given that Google are charging for high volume users of maps, and that all apple apps use the same underlying access to Google Maps, perhaps Google has considered charging Apple for access....

    Either way, new software beats new hardware any day in my opinion.
    • Great idea

      Especially since Google pretends before US courts that APIs must not be copyrightable, as to not prevent innovation etc.
  • Google Maps rocks!

    It's best feature? Sending me the passwords and emails of people living on the current street :)
  • @Samic - you missed something...

    The Map app on the iPhone that Apple included - is a Google product, not Apple. Apple chose to focus on what they do - the iOS and a small handful of other useful apps, leaving the development of actual navigation apps to 3rd party developers - and there are a bunch of them.

    The post you were responding too - about Apple not "half-a$$" doing anything was accurate. Apple chose to not develop their own GPA/Navigation app until they were ready to do so.

    I have actually grown to enjoy using "Waze". Does turn-by-turn, no advertising, and allows interaction with other users (like posting traffic issues/accidents/speed traps/etc).
    • Not true

      Jobs himself said it wasn't Apple's thing and he felt they built a beautiful front end for Voogle's mapping solution.
  • Waze

    I first used the Waze app on Android, now I use it on my iPhone. It's navigation with the power of social networking behind it. As you drive, you and other users report traffic conditions, hazards, etc... If a road doesn't appear on the map, you can add it to the map database. I had been using Tom-Tom maps but since discovering the Waze app, I use nothing else.
  • Over the past couple of years...

    Apple has quietly purchased at least two mapping software companies over the last few years if I recall correctly. This has been baking for awhile, so it's certainly not something Apple just started working on 6 months ago. It may be new to all of us, but it's been baking for some time now.

    Just like the decision to use Wolfram Alpha as the [i]brains[/i] behind Siri, Apple's doing everything they can to eliminate any dependencies on Google.
    • It's what they do

      From what I've seen it's typical of Apple, and one of the things they do best; get things happening silently in the background, then WHAMMY- hit the market with a product that works, now, and better than anyone has done in the past. Then everyone else is playing catch up.
      Brilliant. And historically I've mostly supported MS.
      It wouldn't surprise me if this happens again.
  • Verizon VZ Navigator

    Verizon VZ navigator for iPhone is an excellent turn by turn direction system including traffis delays and alerts. Also is half the cost of the Android version. Great value!
  • There's another side to this...

    No one is buying GPS devices like they were 5 years ago. So the profits and futures of these companies must be slipping. Perhaps a TomTom (substitute any other here) has agreed to license in order to keep their business & maps maintained?