Saturday, May 28, 2011

Google Maps & Strong Presence On iOS 5

Apple although has been working on a new maps service, 9To5Google reports that Google Maps will still be present in iOS. Apple’s efforts in breaking geo-localization ties with Google have yet to produce a working product.

“Sources have told 9To5Google that although Apple is working to improve the iOS Maps application, iOS 5 will not bring an Apple developed maps service and Google Maps is still in.”
The muse that Apple has been building their own maps service to replace Google Maps started a long time ago. In July 2009, Apple surprised us by acquiring Placebase, their first mapping company. One year later, after hearing nothing from Apple regarding the development of their own maps service, Apple purchased a second mapping firm, Poly9.

Back in March, it seemed that Apple got serious about the speculated ‘Apple Maps.’ They advertised job listings for map engineers and navigation experts to take Maps for iOS “to the next level.” Apple recently mentioned in their location tracking Q&A that they

“are now collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database with the goal of providing iPhone users an improved traffic service in the next couple of years.”

The WWDC is coming up in a few days, and Apple is gathering the worlds most prominent journalists for an event they know will be big. There so much speculation about going on about what Apple will announce at the WWDC, but the truth is we won’t know for sure until the conference is over. This year, the conference is going to be all about the software- massive OS X and iOS updates are due.

In addition to the Maps Service, Apple could announce three other major iOS improvements, or additions : a cloud locker which will include an online music streaming service, a fully revamped notification system, and some sort of voice recognition integration. Apple has been seriously active in the development of all three features for a long time.

On the other hand, they posted job openings to work on their maps service less than two months ago. It seems unlikely that they would manage to finalize such an integral part of iOS in so little time.

Another thing to take into account is whether or not Apple will stay friends with Google if they kick Google Maps off iOS. We must not forget that the search giant is heavily integrated in Apple software. If for some reason Apple is planning on an alternative to using Google’s APIs in iOS, they better be working on something huge. I’m sure it would piss many people to have to use Bing to search the web on their iOS devices and Macs.

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