For months, there have been rumors in the tech sector of a new competitor to Google Maps. That competitor is none other than Apple and at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, the new Apple mapping service made its debut. Here are some important aspects of it:
It is part of the new iOS. Apple’s mapping system is not a standalone program or application; it is integrated into the new Apple iOS 6. This means that when you upgrade your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch to the iOS 6 operating system, you will have the Apple mapping service. Because the mapping system is integrated into iOS 6, there is no snappy name for it and while it might be a selling point of iOS 6, it is not sold on its own.
The cartography is all new. Apple has dedicated considerable resources to building the mapping service from the ground up. As a result, the maps are entirely the work of research – mostly from within the last year – that renders the most current location information possible. Apple’s mapping service is not a carbon copy of Google Maps!
The mapping system works with Siri. The iOS 6 version of Siri has been programmed to work with the Apple mapping program. As a result, using the mapping system will allow you to use your iOS-driven device as a navigator. Using the mapping program in conjunction with Siri, your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch essentially becomes a hands-free device that provides you with turn-by-turn directions! Siri even interacts with other aspects of the mapping system in order to give you answers that allow you to focus on your driving, as opposed to looking at the screen of your Apple mobile device.
Local search is integrated. Apple worked hard to give the system some decent bells and whistles even before its initial release. As a result, the initial mapping service has over 100,000,000 local listings of businesses. This makes the mapping system a decent tool for finding gas stations, restaurants and major businesses wherever you find yourself! Apple also worked with Yelp to integrate local business listings. This makes Apple mapping service a one-stop tool for many travel needs; no longer will you need multiple apps for many mapping functions or local search functions.
It has 3-D! To capitalize on the improved screens on Apple’s new mobile products, as well as the processing power of the iOS 6 framework, Apple’s mapping system features three-dimensional representations of several major cities. Instead of a simple aerial view, you can explore major cities by their skyline and fly at different levels through three dimensional maps of major cities around the world. This may help travelers by giving them the clearest possible representations of the buildings around them to make travel less of a hassle.
The Apple mapping service is a decent addition to Apple’s new iOS 6; it will be interesting to see how it impacts Google Maps, Tom Tom, and other mapping/GPS services.
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