Given the fierce competition between iOS and Android, it’s not surprising that Apple may eventually plan to move away from Google Maps and instead come up with something on their own. Actually this isn’t exactly a secret as it seems that Apple already has some of the framework in place, but as to when they will be able to roll it out still remains unknown.
A patent that was recently discovered by Apple Insider is indicating that Apple’s maps will simplify things to the user by providing the most relevant information in the given situation. Coincidentally this seems to go with Apple’s overall design philosophy.
The patent is called “Schematic Maps”, which first determines the amount of screen real estate that is available to the user, i.e. iPhone users will have less screen real estate compared to a user on an iPad or the 27” Apple Cinema LED Display. The map will then emphasize certain landmarks or roads which would allow the user to quickly take notice of. Through this design Apple is hoping that the information provided will be more accurate as opposed to a heavily populated map that provides unnecessary information that may confuse the user.
For example the map would give users the option to “distort” the map, thus displaying only the relevant information such as landmarks or roads, thus uncluttering the screen which will make it easier for users with smaller devices to navigate. Unfortunately we don’t think we will be seeing this any time soon, at least not with iOS 5, but as we mentioned earlier given the rivalry between iOS and Android, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple is working hard to push their own maps out to reduce the dependency on Google Maps for iOS.