WWDC 2012: Apple says sayonara to Google Maps
We take a look at the highlight of Apple's iOS 6 presentation: the unveiling of its new Maps software
As expected Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook unveiled the company’s answer to Google Maps today at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, and the software, which has been built from the ground up and powered exclusively by Apple technology, looks to be a doozy.
Called simply ‘Maps’, the software will allow users to accomplish everything they did with Google Maps and a whole lot more to boot, such as 3D ‘flyovers’, turn-by-turn navigation and even live traffic reports.
The company’s real-time traffic service, which is very much a work in progress, will take anonymous reports from iOS users and aggregate them to form a working picture of traffic snarl-ups, accidents and other hold-ups – enabling us (hopefully) to get to our destinations with the minimum of hassles.
Apple’s new software will also allow users to ask Siri, iOS’s ever faithful digital valet, for directions to a destination and, if location awareness is finally being brought to the UK (fingers crossed!), you might even be able ask him/her to direct you to the nearest petrol pump too!
The company's disinclination to continue using Google’s service was apparently motivated by increasing rivalries between the two tech giants, with the heightening tension prompting Cupertino’s finest to begin working on their own solution – which the company’s CEO was quick to confirm was ‘built from the ground up’, a statement which one must assume was intended as a pre-emptive shot at Google who will no doubt be lifting the lids’ off its lawyers sarcophagi in preparation of another bout of patent warfare.
Motivation aside though, the software certainly looks the part. With a minimal, sleek interface and speedy responsive performance, Apple’s Maps will certainly answer a few people’s prayers, and the high resolution 3D ‘flyover’ function certainly looked stunning during the software’s big reveal, but how well Maps performs on British roads will depend heavily on the company’s backing, but with all functions fully supported by Apple it’s hard to imagine users turning their noses up at ‘Maps’ in favour of Google’s software.