Apple to drop Google Maps in iOS 6?

Sources for 9to5Mac have revealed that Apple will almost certainly be dropping the Google Maps navigation app that has come preloaded in every iOS build since its very inception in 2007. The headline feature will instead be an Apple developed Maps app.

The new Maps app from Apple is said to have marked similarities to Google Maps' latest iOS versions, but with typically Apple-esque attributes such as a refined sense of usability and clarity. So far, Apple's iOS Maps design has had an Apple front end but a Google Maps based backend, but the new in house creation has an Apple backend as well. 

Apple has acquired Placebase, C3 Technologies and Poly9 to create its own mapping database. The tech acquired from the aforementioned companies will also be used to create Apple's own version of Google's hitherto unique Street View mode. 
However, the most remarkable part of the new Maps app will be a phenomenal new 3D mode. Though not the default mode of the Maps app, it is just a finger tap away from the starting screen of the app. The incredible part of all this is that the underlying tech for the 3D mode will be from C3 Technologies, who had so far created 3D real world based graphics from "declassified missile target algorithms"! C3 apparently described their approach in the following statement:
"C3 Technologies is the leading provider of 3D mapping solutions, offering photo-realistic models of the world for search, navigation and geographic information systems. Since 2007 when it was spun out of the aerospace and defense company Saab AB, venture-backed C3 has redefined mapping by applying previously classified image processing technology to the development of 3D maps as a platform for new social and commercial applications. The Sweden-based company’s automated software and advanced algorithms enable C3 to rapidly assemble extremely precise 3D models, and seamlessly integrate them with traditional 2D maps, satellite images, street level photography and user generated images, that together are forever changing how people use maps and explore the world."

With the impending WWDC 2012 coming up this June, one can expect that Apple will at least give the world a good look at iOS 6, if not release the comprehensive iOS upgrade altogether!


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