Apple to ditch Google Maps in iOS 6, replace with in-house 3D Maps app: report

Apple to ditch Google Maps in iOS 6, replace with in-house 3D Maps app

Goodbye, Google Maps. Hello, super-duper-awesome Maps app, which according to Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac will make its debut in iOS 6. The new Maps app will be entirely Apple-built, and provide users with a “much cleaner, faster, and more reliable” user experience, writes Gurman.

The introduction of Maps is, of course, not yet verified by Apple. (Nothing is verified by Apple pre-launch.) Instead, it comes via the tech world’s omnipresent “trusted sources.” However, given the vast amount of details in Gurman’s report — and the obvious need to upgrade the woefully lacking Google Maps in all previous iOS versions — we’re going to go out on a limb and say this rumor has a high probability of coming true.

The alleged new Maps app is the result of Apple’s purchase of three companies (or, rather, the talent behind these companies): Placebase, C3 Technologies, and Poly9. All three companies built various types of mapping software. But according to Gurman, the niftiest new feature in the purported Maps app comes courtesy of the C3 team: photo-quality 3D navigation.

The secret sauce behind C3’s high-detail 3D imaging comes courtesy of missile targeting technology, which was developed by aerospace and defense company Saab AB, and declassified in 2007. Here is a video explaining how C3’s technology works:

And here is a video of C3’s technology in action on an iPad:

That video is from CES 2011, and only includes C3’s technology. What Apple will reportedly release will incorporate tech from Placebase and Poly9 as well, so expect quite a few differences between this and whatever we may see in iOS 6. C3 has also developed its own “street view” mapping, so expect to see that feature carry over into the Map app as well. The 3D mode is said to be an optional feature, which can be turned on with the tap of an icon.

Apple is expected to launch iOS 6 at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which is scheduled to take place in San Francisco June 11 through 15.


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