Apple Maps change 'minor' impact to LBS

One developer says only small tweaks needed to adapt existing location-based services apps to new mapping technology Cupertino introducing in upcoming iOS refresh.

The new mapping technologies slated to be introduced in Apple's latest iOS 6 mobile operating system (OS) will not affect existing location-based services too much as most of the conversion will be automated, one Singapore-based app maker shares.

Elisha Ong, co-founder of Burpple, the company that created a food journaling iOS app of the same name, said Cupertino's revamp of its mapping technology will not affect location-based services. Based on tests using the preview version of iOS 6, the company's developers found that the map functionality in its app changes automatically without them having to change the code, he told ZDNet Asia.

"The only tweak we need to make is when we launch the directions to the place from our app. It currently directs back to Google Maps when it should automatically redirect back to iOS 6 native maps," Ong said.

He added that Burrple's development team is looking forward to the new functionalities such as street view, turn-by-turn directions, increased accuracy, and ability to search places within the Maps app.

"A new feature we will be happy to see is deeper integration with [user-generated review site] Yelp, but we're not sure if we'll be able to access that," he said.

Apple unveiled its latest mobile OS in Jul. 12 and stated it will move away from Google's map technology in favor of its internally developed one. Cupertino had also inked a global agreement with navigation service provider TomTom on the same day for the latter's maps and related information.

Users' reaction mixed
Apple users in Singapore had mixed reactions to the upcoming Maps refresh, though. Student Shawn Li, a self-professed Google fan who also uses the Apple's iPhone, said he liked the user-friendliness of the Internet company's mapping service and was "disappointed" Cupertino decided to switch.

Lilian Jiang, a business analyst, said she is worried directions for public transport in Singapore, which is currently available on Google Maps, might not be available in the new Maps app.

However, student Adrianna Tan has a different view. "It doesn't really matter which map Apple uses as long as it's accurate and gets me to where I want to go," she said.