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iOS 6: Setting Apple Maps expectations

Maps are core technology on a smartphone these days. We depend on our phones to make calls and otherwise keep us in contact, and we depend on them to tell us where we are and help us find where were are going. We depend on them. Messing with a successful mapping solution on mobile, in any way, is non-trivial.

As Android Central's Phil Nickinson has often remarked -- maps could well be Google's flagship product. (AdSense/AdWords may be their most important, but nothing else comes close to the sheer user-facing coolness of Maps.) As 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman mentioned after Google's own map event yesterday, Google has devoted years to building out and developing their Maps service.

How will Apple replace all that in iOS 6?

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Apple acquires map API company Poly9

According to the Sun, Apple has purchased Quebec-based Poly9, a mapping API provider for Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo!, MSNBC, and NORAD.

Poly9's website has been shuttered, their employees moved to Cupertino.

Last year, Apple bought PlaceBase, a company that specialized in API for layering data sets over maps.

Since there's only a few companies that actually own the maps themselves, Apple still isn't going into the map business -- but they certainly look to be doing a lot to make their implementation of maps better and more powerful.

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