Google and Apple can be said to be “frenemies”, and you can tell that their relationship is different now, with Apple working on an entirely new mapping solution from the ground up in iOS 6. It does look stunning at WWDC 2012, where Maps is also now part of the local search. In addition, Apple has ingested over a 100 million business listings – that sounds like a lot, but it would be great to have someone come up with a comparison against Google Maps and see who has more – in terms of accuracy and freshness of information.
Touted to be a world-wide effort, the new Maps will also see the implementation of a traffic service, where red bars will show off traffic slowdowns, while icons are used to represent different aspects on the road such as construction and accidents. The traffic data will be made available thanks to “anonymous, realtime” information from iOS users. I guess Apple now keeps tabs on how fast you are driving, no? Visually, it is represented in 3D, and the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) will be updated dynamically. If Maps feels that you need to take a different route, it will not hesitate to inform you to do so.
Not only that, Maps also works straight from your lock screen, letting you view directions necessary to arrive at your destination even when connected. Since it also comes with Siri integration, you can always speak to your iPhone and get driving sooner rather than later. Running low on gas? Fret not, just ask where the nearest gas station is, and be prepared to be rerouted.
The maps are vector-based, looking very similar to Goole Maps. If you zoom in far enough, it will be represented in 3D imagery, and everything does seem to run smoothly at the demonstration which is always a good thing if that is the real world performance that the audience were treated to.
Do you think that Google Maps will run into series competition? I guess Apple has taken the best that Google has to offer, and added their trademark innovation. I guess Android users will not have much to complain, and having a better navigation app on a rival hardware platform is not going to be the “killer app” that see users jump bandwagons.