iOS 6 Maps app caught on blurry cropped cam, mocked-up

Screenshots of iOS Maps app with 3D buildings surfaces

We had heard rumors that Apple would be bumping Google data from the Maps app in iOS 6, and a possible reason why, and now we've reached the next stage in the long road of rumors -- the blurry, highly cropped camera spy shot. BGR scored the pictures and, based on them and information they received along with them, produced a mock up of what's sure to be one of the headline features, especially on demo day -- 3D maps (see above).

3D models nothing new in the world of GPS apps, but certainly ambitious for Apple's debut. Apple has acquired a few companies in the mapping world leading up to this release, including C3 Technologies, Placebase, and Poly9. Given Apple and Google's quickly-souring relationship, it's no surprise to see iPhones and iPads without Google Maps preloaded, but I would be surprised if Apple didn't keep it available and updated as a regular ol' title in the App Store. To what extent will Apple scour all things Googly from iOS, though? Will YouTube get kicked out? Maybe switch the default search engine, but to what, Bing? It's laughable, but RIM did it. That's also assuming Apple would want to partner with anyone else; this move with maps sets an interesting precedent where Apple is the one making all of the preloaded services on the device. Not only does Apple have the cash to invest in pushing into these new areas, but it falls perfectly in line with their philosophy of owning the entire experience. I'm a little worried about Apple's ability to do that and retain quality, though; once upon a time, Nokia had a whole suite of solutions that they had made in-house, but eventually handed off the bulk of them to Yahoo! and ultimately to Microsoft.

The new maps app should be launching alongside iOS 6 this summer. Anyone excited to try it out, or is Google Maps still doing the job just fine? Do you think Apple will be able to do as good of a job as Google did, or do they lack the expertise, even with their handful of acquisitions? And the big question... If we don't end up liking the new built in Maps app, will we be able to get Google Maps in the App Store?

Source: BGR


Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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There are 19 comments. Add yours.

Ryan says:

After experiencing the Google Maps experience on Android... the iOS implementation simply just sucks. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

Maps says:

The iPhone Map App does use Google data but it is not the typical Google Maps. Google has an App which includes Maps and it is not as easy to use and useful as the iPhone Maps App. Apple does a better job with Google data that Google does for iOS. My son has Android and Google does a better job on Android with maps than they do on iOS. Maybe if Apple comes out with a in house Maps App not using Google data then Google will provide a better Maps App for iOS than they currently do, if not they will loose a lot of traffic because their current iOS App is poor.

Ih8censorship says:

I just hope if they do ditch google maps that the new map has turn by turn voice navigation. For me, this has really been the most obvious shortcoming for iPhone compared to android devices.

Premium1 says:

Agree free turn by turn is much needed and where Android wins hands down in GPS

_Smirk says:

Its a fake its Nokia 3D Maps ... guys :) nothing todo with apple or ios :)

eve6er69 says:

looks just like google earth. nothing new or revolutionary. keep up the good work cook, haha

GeorgeDW says:

If you've seen the videos of the tech Apple bought for this, it's far, far superior to Google Earth. Earth relies on models created by either Google employees or users to show 3d buildings, so their presence is still limited. C3 Technologies, which Apple bought, uses images and depth data to automatically generate 3d views of the entire environment, not just a few prominent buildings. Take a look:

nyc_rock says:

As someone mentioned, Apples new map application needs to incorporate one of the following:
1) Built in turn by turn directions
2) API support for IOS's excellent 3rd party Navigation programs to launch from within the mapping application itself.
If it does not, then it doesnt matter who supplies the maps. It will be just as lame as it is today.

Plasmanut says:

To this day, my wife refuses to use Maps on her iPhone (3.5 years after becoming an iPhone user).
She has never gotten the hang of searching for something and getting directions. I do use it, but I can see her point. Maps on iOS is not exactly a beacon of light as far as intuition goes...
I just hope they come up with something.... ummm.... better.

O says:

honestly i don't care whom they use for 3d maps, those are useless to me. I'd like turn-by-turn navigation and bike maps like my android used to have.

Traveling2 says:

For this wanting free turn by turn navigation on iOS, why don't you just install any of a number of free turn by turn apps. Waze is a great free navigation app and it has features that google maps on android doesn't offer.

SockRolid says:

The current Maps app is written by Apple. It uses data from Google to render the actual map tiles, and presumably the iOS 6 version of Maps will use Apple's own data and tile images.
re: "If we don't end up liking the new built in Maps app, will we be able to get Google Maps in the App Store?"
Depends. If Apple hands down a new App Store rule against 3rd party mapping apps, then boom. No more Google Maps. Otherwise I'd expect it to not be a bundled app in iOS 6 and later. If you really want it, it could remain in the App Store.
Same with the current 2d Maps app. Older iPhones (4S and earlier models) wouldn't be allowed to run the new 3D Maps app for performance and marketing reasons. Gradually, as the 4S / 4 / 3G models are end-of-lifed, Google won't have any presence in the built-in Maps apps on iOS. (Same for iPad.)

John says:

I'm new to iPhone. I formerly used Android and the new Windows Phone. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in my longing for a decent navigation app. This iPhone nav is ridiculously awful. Even the winphone with Bing maps was better! I was told I would love the iPhone/Apple experience. So far, it's been disappointing - especially for the 20-30% upcharge that Apple extorts. If my job didn't require it, I'd be happily returning to my Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia 900).

Wil says:

As long as they release the api for developers to use this map they will be successful. Looking forward to it.

mapman says:

3d maps? Who cares... Google has done it with Sketchup acquisition, Microsoft has done it with Vexcel acquisition and now Apple wants an up at bats. Bottom line is no one has figured out how to monetize 3d maps or aerial maps for that matter. The only useful maps are the vector maps and the companies who were king in those domains were scooped up by Nokia and Tom Tom. Even the aerial photos are dated but who cares... vectors win and adding voice kills everything else. As long as we can go where we want to go without a hassel, the fancy mapping will remain eye candy. Nothing more,nothing less.

mapman says:

Oh, when is the last time you have seen a 3d update from G or MS... same goes for aerial imagery. Bet that new aquisitions are rare. Look at the blogs and tell me if they are growing or shrinking their Geo teams. Apple has fallen into the same trap. Well at least we'll have three mediocre providers of outdated global maps instead of none.

iPhoneDon797 says:

Its fake. How in the hell can a map view like that help in getting from point A to point B? A nav app doesn't need to have "eye candy." It would just be another distraction from driving and if you need a nav app to figure out where you're going, then you should be paying attention to the road and not "pretty" 3D pictures.

Jay says:

Try the Free Turn by turn Mapquest App, Very reliable and user friendly.

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