• Apple Rumored to Abandon Google Maps Later This Year

    Apple previously planned to break away from Google Maps and use its own technology for the native Maps app on iOS later this year. According to a new report, the feature could be announced at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

    Apple employees, both former and present, revealed to The Wall Street Journal that the Cupertino California company is set to bump 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 show off the new software at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next week. The company is reportedly 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. The rapid rise of Android sales is said to have increased the pace of Apple’s plans. Intentions of mapping have been evident since at least 2009, when the company began acquiring mapping technology companies. The iPhone maker bought Placebase that year, Poly9 in 2010, and Swedish 3D-mappign company C3 just last year. The company revealed that last April, it was collecting data for a crowd-sourced “improved traffic service” for iPhone users.

    The company has been gradually weaning iOS off Google Maps. In 2010, Apple notified .S. senators 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.

    According to the WSJ, “Apple is going after the map market to have more control over a key asset in the widening smartphone war,” noting that 90 percent of American iPhone owners use 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.”

    We’ll have to wait and see if Apple unveils the technology at WWDC as rumored.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal
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