Apple had previously planned to break away from Google Maps and use its own technology for the native Maps app on iOS later this year. A new report says that this feature maybe announced at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
Apple employees, both former and present, revealed to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that the Cupertino, California-based company is set to kick away Google’s maps service from its mobile operating system. Apple’s plans are set to “release a new mapping app that runs Apple’s own technology.” One of the sources suggested that Apple may reveal the new software at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next week. Reports say that, Apple is looking to convince third-party app developers to implement its technology into their offerings.
The report continued noting that the plan to get rid of Google Maps has been in motion for years. It is said that the rapid rise of Android sales have increased the pace of Apple’s plans. Intentions of mapping have been evident since at least 2009, when Apple began acquiring mapping technology companies. The iPhone-maker bought Placebase in 2009, Poly9 in 2010, and Swedish 3D-mapping company C3 in 2011. Last year in April, Apple revealed that it was collecting data for a crowd-sourced “improved traffic service” for iPhone users.
Apple has been gradually weaning iOS off Google Maps. In 2010, Apple said that beginning iOS 3.2, it had begun relying on “its own databases” for location-based services and diagnostic purposes. In March, it was discovered that Apple had switched to OpenStreetMaps for the maps in its iPhoto iOS app. Apple’s reported switch comes as location services are quickly attracting a significant percentage of advertising dollars.
“Apple is going after the map market to have more control over a key asset in the widening smartphone war.”
WSJ noted that 90 percent of American iPhone owners used Google Maps.
“Apple believes controlling the mapping experience and offering features that Google doesn’t have can help sell more devices and entice developers to build unique apps for iPhone users.”
It remains to be seen if Apple unveils the technology at WWDC as rumored.
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